The Washington Capitals have announced that the Hershey Bears have signed Washington Capitals prospect defenseman Garrett Haar to a one year deal for the 2014-2015 season. Haar was a seventh round pick back in the 2011 NHL Draft. Haar spent the 2013-2014 season with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, scoring 45 points (seven goals, 38 assists) with a +/- of +32 in 61 games.
Garrett Haar played college hockey at Western Michigan University for two seasons. During those two seasons, in 58 games, he scored 17 points (four goals, 13 assists). He was kicked off the team during the summer of 2013 for academic and “integrity” reasons. The Washington Capitals wanted to see more out of him, so they allowed him to play in the WHL. The 20-year-old defenseman flourished during his first WHL season and did well enough to garner a one year deal with the Bears.
Garrett Haar is an interesting prospect. He was viewed more as a shutdown guy despite his 6’0″ stature and weight just 207 pounds, but last year he began to show a side of him that he had never really shown before: offensive upside. He showed that he’s a very capable puck mover and that he can be productive in the offensive zone. I’m quite intrigued by his potential.
If Garrett Haar can build on last year’s success, and he’ll probably be in a good position to do that in Hershey with no pressure, Haar might wind up being a diamond in the rough for the Washington Capitals. I don’t see him being a top four defenseman, but he could easily provide depth as a bottom pairing defenseman and spend time killing penalties.