Hendrix Lapierre is doing just fine — better than fine — since the Washington Capitals returned him to the QMJHL. In his first regular-season game with his new team in the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Saturday, Lapierre put on a show.
The 19-year-old picked up two helpers — a primary and a secondary — and won 12 of 22 face-offs in the Titan’s 6-4 victory over the Shawinigan Cataractes. He also wore the “A” for Acadie-Bathurst and earned first-star honors.
Lapierre made the Capitals’ opening night roster after an impressive training camp and preseason. He scored in his NHL debut and got six games up at the NHL level, but couldn’t get a lot of opportunity with Connor McMichael, Brett Leason, Aliaksei Protas and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby drawing in and playing well in wake of injuries to Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Anthony Mantha and Nic Dowd. He ended up playing six games at the NHL level, recording a goal, seven shots and a plus-1 rating, along with three takeaways.
READ MORE ON WHN: Lapierre Staying Positive After Return To Juniors
Washington re-assigned Lapierre to juniors on Wednesday. He told WHN back in October that he’s not a negative person and is maintains a “see the glass half-full” mentality. He’s carried that back to Canada.
“Certainly in an ideal world, I would have stayed in Washington. However, I had a great opportunity to play games,” Lapierre told TVA Sports about returning to the QMJHL. “It was up to me to grab it. I don’t think I did wrong, but maybe I didn’t do enough to stay on all year. I do know, however, that I have made a huge leap forward.”
Head coach Peter Laviolette said that the decision wasn’t a bad thing and that he was looking forward to what Lapierre would do with the Titan this season. And after a strong debut, it looks like Lapierre is ready to hit the ground running.