Dec. 4: Shepard was returned to AHL Hershey on Monday, per the NHL’s media transactions log. Lindgren is likely ready to return from the illness that sidelined him and will dress tonight against the Coyotes.
Dec. 2: The Washington Capitals announced that they have recalled goaltender Hunter Shepard from their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, and he will be in the lineup tonight as the team takes on the Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights. Their usual backup goaltender, Charlie Lindgren, was out yesterday and took a maintenance day this afternoon, and will not be available for tonight’s matchup.
Although he will likely not play tonight with Darcy Kuemper still in the net, this will be Shepard’s fourth call-up of the season, although the first three were all on an emergency loan. Earlier this season in late October, also in Lindgren’s absence, Shepard was able to make his NHL debut against the New Jersey Devils, securing the win after making a total of 18 saves on 22 shots. A few weeks later, Shepard was once again in the net for the Capitals, stopping 36 shots out of 37 in a win against the New York Islanders.
Last season, once again spent primarily with the Bears, Shepard held a 20-8-5 record through the regular season, holding a .916 SV% and a 2.18 GAA. In the playoffs, Shepard was fundamental in Hershey winning the 2023 Calder Cup, producing a 14-6-0 record with a .914 SV%, and winning the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy, awarded to the Calder Cup playoffs most valuable player.
The trophies won last year are not the only ones in Shepard’s case, as he backed the University of Minnesota-Duluth to back-to-back National Championships in 2018 and 2019, all while winning back-to-back NCHC Goaltender of the Year awards in 2019 and 2020.