Hardy Haman Aktell is a dark horse for sixth defenseman

Hardy Haman Aktell, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Hardy Haman Aktell, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

Earlier in the week I wrote about the top 3 candidates for the Washington Capitals sixth defenseman. You can catch up on that here in case you missed it. One defenseman we did not talk about but are going to in this post is Hardy Haman Aktell, who the Caps signed at the beginning of their long offseason.

One of those three candidates that we talked about got eliminated from the competition yesterday in the roster cuts. That player was Vincent Iorio who was sent to the Hershey Bears to continue his development.

So now it comes down to Lucas Johansen, Alex Alexeyev and Hardy Haman Aktell. Let’s learn more about the Swede.

The defenseman signed a one year, two way entry level contract with the Capitals back on April 27. He recorded 36 points in 51 games with the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) last season. That’s nine goals and 27 assists.

Haman Aktell is listed as six foot three and 220 pounds. He led Vaxjo in plus minus with a plus 23, ranked second on the team in assists and points and tied for third among AHL defenseman in points.

He hails from Kage, Sweden and added seven points with three goals and four assists and recorded a plus six plus minus rating in 18 playoff games. He helped Vaxjo capture the SHL championship for the second time in three years.

Haman Aktell was originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the fourth round at 108th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Haman Aktell first played in the second preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings which resulted in a Caps W on home ice. In that game he skated 18:14, had three shots and two hits along with a plus/minus of plus one.

He also played in the rematch which resulted in a loss two nights later. He skated 20:33, had two shots and was a +1. He skated 18:42 in the road overtime win over the Boston Bruins, had 3 hits and was a -2. The other night at Columbus he skated 20:40, had two penalty minutes and two shots.

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Haman Aktell has had a good preseason and if he shines tonight it’ll put the pressure on Johansen and Alexeyev as well as the coaching staff who has the final say on the 23 man roster.