The Washington Capitals will be represented in the Memorial Cup, as defensive prospect Martin Has helped lead the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes to their first-ever President’s Cup on Saturday.
The Cataractes scored three unanswered goals and Pierrick Dube provided the overtime winner for the series-clinching 4-3 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders. Has had a shot and a hit and was a minus-1 in the win.
Shawinigan joins the Saint John Sea Dogs as the two QMJHL teams in the Memorial Cup.
The Cataractes are the second team to qualify for the 2022 Memorial Cup at the Toronto Dominion Station in Saint John, New Brunswick, which starts June 20. They will be joined by the host, Saint John Sea Dogs. Two more teams will be a part of the tournament as well. In the WHL Final, the Edmonton Oil Kings hold a 3-2 series lead over the Seattle Thunderbirds. In the OHL Final, the Hamilton Bulldogs and Winsor Spitfires are evened up 2-2.
If the Thunderbirds rally, fellow Capitals prospect Henrik Rybinski could join Has in the Memorial Cup.
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Has had a strong rookie camp and training camp for Washington this past season. After one preseason game, the Capitals assigned the 6-4, 215-pound blueliner back to juniors. Though he started the season on the Kitchener roster, he never played a game for them. After that, he inked a contract with the QMJHL’s Cataractes.
— Czech Prospects (@CZprospects) October 29, 2021
Through 57 games, Has had a strong showing, dishing eight goals, 12 assists and 92 shots, while racking up 40 penalty minutes. He also had two game-winning tallies for Shawinigan over the course of the campaign. So far, through 16 playoff games, Has has been solid with two goals, four assists and 23 shots, as well as with 13 PIM. He also spent a lot of time on the top defensive pairing, where he skated alongside Loris Rafanomezantsoa.
Washington originally took Has in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL Draft. The Czech native is a solid two-way defenseman who has good size and a wicked shot. He still has work to do and ways to improve, but that comes with development. In the end, Has, 21, has tremendous upside as a reliable right-handed defenseman who could be a top-4 blueliner in the years to come.