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McMichael Finding Twine, Success Since Heading To Hershey

Connor McMichael has been making the most of more ice time after heading down to the Hershey Bears following a series of scratches to open the Washington Capitals season.



In late November, following a series of healthy scratches to open the 2022-23 season, the Washington Capitals sent Connor McMichael down to the Hershey Bears with the hopes that he'd score and produce offensively with more ice time and opportunity. He's done just that so far.

Since joining the Bears following a rough six-game stint in D.C., McMichael has been bringing his A-game while playing top-6 minutes, centering the second line and getting time on the power play and penalty kill. As a result, he's gaining more confidence, and it's evident in the way he's on the ice and even when he's celebrating. 

The 21-year-old is finishing his chances, getting flashy and utilizing his speed, stickhandling ability and hockey IQ that made him a first-rounder in 2019. Through 14 games so far in the AHL, McMichael has five goals and three assists for eight points, and he is averaging .57 points per game, which puts him on pace for 41 points with Hershey this year.

His fifth goal of the season came in Sunday's win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms off a wicked shot that went top-shelf.

"I think it’s a big part of my game right now is kind of working on different situations in the game. Penalty kill, power play, up by a goal, down by a goal. So I think it’s been a good experience for me so far," McMichael said of his return. "I’ve been happy with the minutes I've been playing and how I've been able to contribute to the team. I’m looking to keep that up."

"A big thing for me is to help contribute to this team. We got a really good squad down here," he added, saying that he's not fixated on when he'll return to the Capitals. "I think that we can do something special. Right now [my goal] is to help this team win, go far in the playoffs and we’ll see what happens.”