The Washington Capitals loaned Hendrix Lapierre to the AHL’s Hershey Bears mid-way through training camp, hoping to see the 20-year-old thrive in his first year in the AHL. He hasn’t disappointed through the first two games, and after netting his first AHL point on Saturday, he hit another milestone on Sunday.
Lapierre scored his first career AHL goal on Sunday against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on a nice shot from below the right circle to make it 1-0 late in the first period. In a fitting fashion, Vincent Iorio notched one of the assists for his first career AHL Point. Gabriel Carlsson, who signed in D.C. in the offseason, also had an assist on Lapierre’s goal.
Here’s the goal.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) October 16, 2022
Lapierre has two points in as many games to open his rookie AHL season and has been making quite a bit of noise after failing to make the Capitals’ opening night roster out of camp. He is coming off a strong final year in the QMJHL that saw him post 51 points in 40 games with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. He also put on several pounds of muscle in the offseason, looking to get stronger.
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This isn’t the first time Lapierre’s gotten off to a fast start in the pros. The the Quebec native dished his first career NHL goal in his NHL debut last season against the New York Rangers.
Iorio, meanwhile, is off to a solid start to his AHL career as well. He was one fo the strongest defensemen at Washington’s camp and has been a brick wall while also showcasing quick passing, mobility and strong skating.
The 6-3, 205-pound blueliner is coming off a career year with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, putting up 44 points in 60 games in his fourth and final juniors campaign.
Lapierre and Iorio became fast friends after meeting at World Juniors with Team Canada. Both are considered leaders in the organization and went atop their respective Capitals draft classes.
If they keep up this play, expect call-ups at some point this season. They will also likely be competing hard for a roster spot within the next few seasons.