As we get closer to Washington Capitals hockey, we’ve already begun the process of looking at each player one by one as they head into the new season. So far we’ve done Evgeny Kuznetsov, Max Pacioretty and Anthony Mantha. In this post we’ll look at young defenseman Alex Alexeyev who was re upped earlier in the offseason for two more years.
Alexeyev’s extension is at $825K the next two seasons before he becomes an RFA again. Because he’s still young, he’s still qualified for restricted free agent and not unrestricted free agent. Restricted means the team has leverage too along with the player. That’s a simple way to put it.
After playing just one game in 2021-22, he appeared in 32 games last season, recording five assists. He had a plus minus rating of minus two as well as 48 blocks, 33 hits, three takeaways and 16 giveaways. A small sample size but plenty of room for improvement as the kid gets more NHL games under his belt.
Alexeyev got more playing time in large part due to injuries. Then after a bunch of moves to retool the roster, he got even more playing time post trade deadline. His best pairing partner was Trevor van Riemsdyk.
Alexeyev has a good defensive game. Now it’s time to elevate his offense. He doesn’t have to pot goals per say, but rather help create chances no matter which forward line is on the ice.
After missing 4-5 months last year due to a labral repair procedure, Alexeyev is healthy and expected to be ready come training camp on September 20. But getting a good spot and avoiding the scratch could be tough after the Caps added Joel Edmundson.
Still, even if Alexeyev is a scratch come opening night he will definitely be the next man up if someone goes down. And having a new coach that wants to work with both the veterans and the youth, it could be an advantage for the young blue liner.