Hardy Haman Aktell enters Capitals training camp ‘under the radar’

John Carlson, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
John Carlson, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

We’re continuing with our Washington Capitals player previews like rapid fire. Today one of the players we look at will have to prove himself against an already crowded Capitals defense.

Still that didn’t keep Allan Mitchell of The Athletic (subscription required) from putting Hardy Haman Aktell under the Capitals as he picked one player from each of the 32 teams to be ‘under the radar’ making the team.

Mitchell said this about the young defenseman:

"The ultimate example of an under-the-radar player entering camp is Häman Aktell. Originally drafted by the Sabres and signed by the Capitals earlier this offseason, he is one of the five best pro players who did not play in the NHL a year ago. The Capitals are coming out of a long run of success, having missed the playoffs just once since 2008 and winning the Stanley Cup in 2018. Häman Aktell is 25, physical and can suppress offense. He’ll get a long look in camp."

The Caps signed the defenseman not too long after their failure of a season ended to a one year, two way contract. He will make $775,000 at the NHL level and $82,500 in the AHL level.

He was originally taken in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators but did not remain with the organization. He struggled with injuries in the beginning but since getting healthy he’s shown to be one of the top European players that deserves an NHL shot.

Haman Aktell had nine goals and 27 assists through 51 games last season with the SHL’s Vaxjo Lakers. He was the team’s second highest scorer and ranked third among all SHL defensemen in points.

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He also led all Lakers skaters in plus minus with a plus 23. He added seven points in 18 playoff games to take the Lakers to the SHL title. He will definitely get a good look at camp.