2. Hendrix Lapierre
One of the most exciting prospects the Washington Capitals have in their system is Hendrix Lapierre, who they selected 22nd overall at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Unfortunately, the 18-year-old forward was limited to just 19 games during the 2019-20 season, but showed his skill when he was in the lineup with 17 points. The season prior, he had 45 points in 48 games as a rookie with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.
There is no questioning the talent level of Lapierre, but his injury past causes concern. The reason Lapierre fell as far as he did in the 2020 Draft is due to a history of concussion and neck issues, which kept him out of the lineup for long chunks in both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. He has said the issues are a thing of the past and that he is completely healthy, which the Capitals will hope to be true. He was able to play five games with Chicoutimi before the season was paused, posting eight points (3 G, 5 A).
At the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Capitals were able to grab highly talented forward Connor McMichael with the 25th overall pick. To put it simply, the 20-year-old is a goal scoring machine. During his draft year, he put up 36 goals and 72 points in 67 games with the London Knights of the OHL. He followed that up with an even better 2019-20 season in which he scored 47 goals and 102 points in just 52 contests.
McMichael has become a pretty well known player given his performances at both the 2020 and 2021 World Junior Tournaments where he has represented Team Canada. He helped Canada capture gold in 2020, registering five goals and seven points in seven games.
Though Canada was unable to win Gold for a second straight year in 2021, McMichael impressed again with four goals and eight points in seven games. He played in his first ever NHL game with the Washington Capitals this past Sunday, but will likely be sent to the Bears to get more minutes once the AHL season begins.