It’d been a long time away from the rink for Washington Capitals prospect Hendrix Lapierre, as the QMJHL shut down in late December due to COVID-19. However, he didn’t miss a step as the league returned from a lengthy hiatus to open the month of February.
Lapierre and the Acadie-Bathurst Titan made their long-awaited return on Saturday against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, and the Capitals 2020 first-rounder added to a strong second period for the Titan.
After Bennett MacArthur made it 1-0 for Acadie-Bathurst early in the second, Lapierre found Miguel Tourigny for his 20th goal of the season just under two minutes later to make it 2-0. Then, toward the end of the second, Lapierre made a great move to the net and rocketed home his sixth of the season to give the Titan a three-goal lead.
Acadie-Bathurst would ultimately pull off a 5-2 win, where Lapierre earned second-star honors.
The 19-year-old is wearing the “A” for the Titan and has six goals and 14 assists through 20 games this season. He is skating well and making smart plays with the puck, and also becoming more confident in his shot.
Lapierre started the season up with the Capitals after an outstanding performance at trianing camp and scored his first NHL goal in his debut. He also maintained a positive, hard-working attitude that made him a fan favorite.
“[My menality] was just to make the most of every day,” Lapierre told WHN, adding, “I just smile all the time.”
After six games up in the NHL, and with Washington’s center race getting tighter, the team sent the Quebec native back to the ‘Q to continue his development.
“I think his time here was really well-spent. He did a really good job… while it’s always an option and it’s always possible for anybody to come in and make the team, you really have to do the right things in the practices and in the scrimmages and the exhibition games to actually have a chance to make the team,” Laviolette said back in November.
“It’s a lot for a young player to I think to handle the NHL and the league itself. And so we sent him back to juniors where he can play against his peers… you think about his year and it’s really in a great spot,” Laviolette added. “It’s not a negative that we sent him back. We just felt it was time for a young player that, where it’s very difficult to crack a league that’s made of grown men. It’s difficult and yet he did such a fantastic job that we had to keep him. We had to keep looking at him and he helped us.”