HERSHEY, Pa. – The Washington Capitals assigned defenseman Alexander Alexeyev to the Hershey Bears on Monday, bringing a critical piece back for the remainder of the season. Alexeyev will undergo a quarantine period once he arrives in Hershey, similar to what Aliaksei Protas went through when he joined the Bears. A timetable for when he might appear in game action has not been released.
Alexeyev is returning after spending the 2020-21 season with Salavat Yulaev Ufa on loan from the Caps, where he registered 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 55 games and one assist in nine postseason games.
Alexeyev, 21, played his rookie season with the Bears in 2019-20, where he had 21 points (three goals, 18 assists) in 58 total games and quickly became a mainstay on the blue line. The first-round pick of the Capitals in 2018 (31st overall) ranked third in plus/minus with a plus-eight rating in his rookie season. Alexeyev combined with fellow rookie defenders Martin Fehervary and Bobby Nardella to provide a new look on the Bears’ blue line that was fun to watch.
Hershey has been trying to fill the void in the absence of Alexeyev and Nardella, who were both loaned overseas to start this season after becoming big parts of the defensive group when last season was shut down. The Bears have dressed 12 different defenders so far this season, and while some of the variation has been due to injury, getting back to a sense of familiarity with the lineup will be good moving forward.
Adding a 6-foot-4, 210-pound defender whose a former first-round pick is always a huge boost, but Alexeyev is quickly growing to become a complete defender whose name should be in conversations with the Capitals. Although Washington is extremely set in their defensive group right now, they’ll find they have plenty of quality internal options, particularly amongst their 2018 draft class with Alexeyev and Fehervary taking big strides in Hershey.
The Bears are set to travel to Newark to take on the Binghamton Devils on Wednesday.