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GOTTA SEE IT: Capitals’ Hanelt Scores First World Juniors Goal In Germany Win



Capitals prospect Haakon Hanelt

Washington Capitals prospect Haakon Hanelt has been making strides this offseason, and his strong play has carried over onto the big stage at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Hanelt scored his first goal of the tournament on Saturday against Switzerland. In the second period, Hanelt snapped a quick shot that beat Kevin Pasche clean and banked off the post and in. Hanelt’s goal helped the Germans secure a 3-2 victory over the Swiss.

The 19-year-old finished with a goal and two shots through 11:08 minutes of ice time. He has primarily been skating on the third line for Germany.

Hanelt went to the Capitals in the fifth round of the 2021 NHL Draft as the only forward taken in the team’s 2021 class. He is coming off a tough 2021-22 campaign, where a shoulder injury sidelined him for months and limited him to just 16 games with the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques. Still, Hanelt put up 10 points, and he also added two goals in the postseason. And, despite initially missing out on the World Juniors in December, he was healthy and able to attend Germany’s camp this summer.

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The Berlin native is also fresh off Washington’s development camp, where he impressed with his speed, quick hands and vision. Hanelt is among the standouts for the Capitals, who also have Oskar Magnusson representing them at the WJC.

Hanelt told WHN that his shoulder is back to 100 percent and that during his time away, he focused on skating and endurance. Since then, he said he’s been feeling good on the ice and able to showcase his full potential. Still, he wants to cement his own legacy in the pros, and a strong tournament is a great start.

“I just try to play my own game, make my own statement. That’s my biggest goal,” Hanelt said of his play. “Of course, it’s an honor if someone compares you to a really good player in the NHL or something. But honestly, I’m just trying to play my own game.