It has been reported that Washington Capitals rookie center Hendrix Lapierre will join the team’s September training camp. It was previously reported that Lapierre would return as one of the replacement candidates for senior center Nicklas Backstrom, who is still in recovery from a left hip injury. Check out the top sportsbooks for betting on the NHL.
Since being drafted in the 2020 NHL Draft, Lapierre has played six games for the Capitals. Last season, the 20-year-old center was assigned to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He was not selected for Canada to play at the 2022 World Junior Championship.
Lapierre said it was hard for him to show his best last season. The 20-year-old center was indeed inconsistent. In six games, he scored only one point against the New York Rangers in the Capitals’ season opener. Meanwhile, when playing for Acadie-Bathurst, the Canadian recorded 51 points with 21 goals and 30 assists in 40 regular-season games. In the postseason, he made 11 points by recording four goals and seven assists in eight playoff games. He has since said he will improve.
“I was very, very happy to be here, and then when I got sent down, I thought it wasn’t going to hit me too much, but once I got sent down, I missed the time here. So, I had an up-and-down season … but I think in general, I came out stronger than when I arrived,” he said.
Lapierre said that he had prepared himself for the upcoming NHL season. He said he had ent up to 185 pounds from 180 pounds. The 6-foot-tall center aded that the six games he played for the Capitals would be a valuable experience to secure his spot this season.
This season, the Capitals added some players to the roster, namely Dylan Strome, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller, Connor McMichael, and Nic Dowd.
Lapierre said he would follow what the management wants him to do, whether playing for the Capitals or the Hershey Bears in the AHL.
“Obviously, I want to make the Washington Capitals is my objective and, I think if I have a camp like last year, I’ll put the odds on my side,” he said
“If I have to play in Hershey or whatever, I’ll just be ready for whatever I need to do. I’ll arrive at camp and I’ll be ready and whatever happens, happens,” he said.
Hershey manager Scott Allen said that Lapierre would benefit from his decision to join the training camp. Allen said it would be a good opportunity for him to show what he is capable of.
“Some of the veterans that he was able to spend some time with (last season), that’s a huge benefit going into camp too,” Allen said.
“He should be ahead of the game now in regards to that. But it still falls on his shoulders in regards to what he’s capable of doing and where he can fit in,” he said.
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