WASHINGTON, D.C. — In his NHL debut in a division rivalry game for the Washington Capitals against the New York Rangers, Hendrix Lapierre made his mark quickly. The rookie scored his first NHL goal in the second period.
The 19-year-old made the Capitals’ opening night roster following a stellar training camp and preseason. He had five assists through four exhibition games, and showcased his smooth skating, speed and high hockey IQ and playmaking ability. Head coach Peter Laviolette rewarded him with a spot on the opening night roster, and also gave him a jersey for the season opener.
Lapierre is centering the third line between T.J. Oshie and Conor Sheary. Oshie picked up the puck in the offensive zone and got it away from a backchecking Jarred Tinordi. He then dished a backhander right onto the tape for Lapierre, who rifled a shot past Alexandar Georgiev. Sheary picked up the secondary assist.
OMG LAPPY GOAL! pic.twitter.com/8JVyK2By2Y
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 14, 2021
His goal came 24 seconds after Justin Schultz struck for Washington on the man advantage and extended the Capitals lead to three. Lapierre’s parents are in attendance for his debut.
The QMJHL forward can play nine games up at the NHL level before burning a year of his entry-level contract. No. 29 started the night with a penalty, but shook off the nerves and generated some high-quality chances on net.
“He’s a super talented young kid. Awesome, awesome, awesome guy,” Oshie said of Lapierre. “He’s fun to be around, he’s smiling in the locker room. You can tell he’s really enjoying himself. He’s working hard. He’s very interested in learning from players and coaches… I think he’s just gonna get better and better and it’s really fun playing with him.”