Connor McMichael to skate on Hershey Bears’ second line in AHL season debut

Connor McMichael was despatched down by the Washington Capitals on Sunday morning and is already in the lineup for the AHL’s Hershey Bears in their late afternoon matchup towards the Hartford Wolf Pack.

The 2019 first-round draft choice is slated to skate on the Bears’ second line in his first recreation again in the AHL because the 2020-21 marketing campaign the place he led Hershey in targets and factors.

The Bears tweeted out their lineup a half hour earlier than puck drop and it sees McMichael in between NHL veteran Henrik Borgstrom and Caps prospect Henrik Rybinski. Notably, this might be McMichael’s first recreation taking part in his pure place of heart this season.

The 21-year-old pivot ought to get a ton of ice time in his return to Hershey because the Bears are presently coping with accidents to forwards Mike Vecchione, Garrett Pilon, and Ethan Frank. All three of these gamers play giant offensive roles each at even power and on the Hershey energy play.

That’s one thing Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette talked about throughout his post-practice presser on the NHL degree as we speak.

“I spoke to Connor this morning,” Laviolette mentioned. I feel from only a growth standpoint to get down there and play some video games, play 20-22 minutes an evening, get in the center of the ice, take faceoffs, energy play, and get some confidence again. I talked to him this morning and he was excited to go play some video games.”

McMichael has gotten into simply six video games for the Caps this season as he has spent nearly all of the schedule sitting in the press field as a wholesome scratch. That comes after a rookie season that noticed him play 68 video games and document 18 factors (9g, 9a).

“The video games that he is been in there’s not been any energy play time, no penalty kill time so that you’re speaking about 9 minutes,” Laviolette mentioned. “Just most likely not sufficient to have him preserve creating. I feel it was time. We have been ready for gamers to get slightly bit more healthy – simply felt it was necessary to get him taking part in.

“He’s simply gotta play,” he continued. “He’s gotta get on the market and he is gotta have nice nights, good nights, powerful nights. He’s gotta rating some targets and be counted on defensively. Just get again to having some enjoyable taking part in the sport. He wants to play greater than 9 minutes. Just return and play some hockey. He was excited simply to go play.”

When requested if McMichael can be the primary call-up if extra damage points have been to crop up on the NHL degree, the bench boss didn’t appear dedicated to that.

“I feel proper now it is simply necessary that Connor goes and he performs and has some enjoyable,” Laviolette mentioned. “Like I mentioned, performs in all conditions, works on his recreation, and continues to develop.”

Headline picture: Alan Dobbins/RMNB

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