Now that his KHL season has come to an end, Alexander Alexeyev is coming to join the Hershey Bears once again. The Washington Capitals have assigned the young defenseman to the AHL club, returning him to the place where he played so well last season.
Alexeyev, 21, recorded 16 points in 55 games for Ufa Salavat Yulayev this season in the KHL, averaging nearly 18 minutes a night. The 6’4″ defenseman was selected 31st overall by the Capitals in 2018 and had 21 points in 58 games for Hershey last season. Those are both strong campaigns for the mobile Alexeyev, especially given he was drafted more for his polished, calm defensive game than his offensive upside.
So good in fact that just today, Max Bultman of The Athletic included Alexeyev as a reserve in his projected 2022 Russian Olympic roster. While that may still be an optimistic take on a young defender that hasn’t proven anything against NHL talent, it speaks to just how much positive momentum Alexeyev has built since his draft. If he continues to show that he has taken another development step, perhaps he can even push for playing time in Washington this season.
Signed to an entry-level deal just after his draft, the 2020-21 campaign will be his first of three years under contract for the Capitals regardless of where he finishes the season. He’ll be in the mix for a role right out of training camp next season if he doesn’t earn one down the stretch.