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What Will Washington Capitals See From Martin Fehervary Next Year?

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The Washington Capitals expect Martin Fehervary to make the NHL jump in 2021-22

After dealing away Brenden Dillon and Zdeno Chara‘s future uncertain, the Washington Capitals have a vacancy on the left side. Martin Fehervary appears to be the next man up.

Brian MacLellan said at the end of the season that Fehervary will likely make the NHL jump in 2021-22. The 21-year-old is coming off a strong season with the Hershey Bears and took a major step forward in his development. Through 24 minor-league games, he picked up three goals and 14 assists.

His .71 PPG ranked first among Bears defensemen with at least 13 GP, and he finished second among Hershey blueliners in assists.

However, it was his defensive play that was most impressive. The 6-2, 202-pound blueliner added size and more physicality to his game, unafraid to throw his weight around. He even dropped the gloves to stick up for teammate Brian Pinho. Not only that, but he also sacrificed the body to block several shots and was a major asset on the penalty kill.

Ultimately, though, he may face heavy competition come training camp. Left-hand shot Alex Alexeyev had a breakout year in 2020-21 while playing overseas on loan with the KHL’s Salavat Yulaev Ufa. He became more involved on the forecheck, moved the puck well and logged top-4 minutes. The Russian d-man carried that confidence over to the AHL and shined there with nine points in 12 games.

READ MORE ON WHN: Alex Alexeyev Takes Major Step In Development, Eyes Spot With Washington Capitals 

If he wants to win a roster spot, Fehervary will have to show the same ability he did at the AHL level, and then some. He’s no stranger to the speed of the NHL, having played six games with the Capitals in 2019-20. Fehervary also has plenty of international experience under his belt, so the 21-year-old can stack up against older players.

Overall, Fehervary is a strong defenseman who can avoid mistakes, break up plays and play an aggressive, physical game. Under Peter Laviolette, expect him to further improve his puck-moving ability. He’s already an impressive skater and passer, so this should be a welcome transition for the Slovakian blueliner.

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