Lost in the sad Nicklas Backstrom hip surgery news, the Washington Capitals also announced that top defense prospect Alexander Alexeyev recently underwent left shoulder surgery – a labral repair.
Alexeyev will be out the next four to five months, meaning the earliest he could return is late October shortly after the 2022-23 season begins.
@TheHersheyBears defenseman Alexander Alexeyev underwent a surgical labral repair on his left shoulder. Based on the nature of this procedure, Alexeyev is expected to miss 4-5 months.
—CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) June 18, 2022
Alexeyev had 19 points (1g, 18a) in 68 regular-season games with the Hershey Bears last season and chipped in an assist during the team’s three-game series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins during the playoffs.
Alexeyev’s injury comes at a time when he could have been in the mix for a full-time promotion to Washington at the start of the season. The Capitals are not expected to re-sign right-handed shooting defenseman Justin Schultz, who is an unrestricted free agent in July. The Capitals will likely flip Trevor van Riemsdyk, who was skating on his off side, to Schultz’s spot on the right. The team could then either sign a veteran defenseman during free agency or promote someone like the left-shooting Alexeyev into TVR’s vacant spot.
With Alexeyev out, the Capitals’ internal options include lefties Matt Irwin, Bobby Nardella, and Lucas Johansen (RFA). The team could also give righty Dylan McIlrath playing time.
Alexeyev, 22, made his NHL debut for the Capitals on December 29, 2021, against the Nashville Predators.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB