Hendrix Lapierre collected 3 assists in his first 2 games for juniors. “In an ideal world, I would have stayed in Washington”

Washington Capitals sent in 2020 first-round pick Hendrix Lapierre back in the QMJHL on Wednesday following the start of the 19-year-old NHL prospect’s season. After being tied for preseason points (5), Lapierre scored his first NHL goal on opening night and averaged 9:35 TOI in his six regular season games in the NHL.

“I think it’s a lot for a young player to manage the NHL and the league itself,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said last week, reflecting on the move. “So we sent him back to the juniors where he can play against his peers and who knows what’s going on from here, if he has the chance to play at the World Championships and if he has the chance to. play in the playoffs. If all of these things could happen you think of its year and it really is in a great place.

Laviolette added that “It’s not negative that we sent him back. We just felt it was time for a young player where it is very difficult to break a league made up of grown men. It’s tough and yet he did such a fantastic job that we had to keep him and we had to keep watching him and he helped us.

On Saturday, Lapierre made his debut with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, who retired a lot in an exchange with the Saguenéens de Chicoutimi to acquire it during the off-season. Lappy collected two assists and was named first star of the night in Acadie-Bathurst’s 6-4 victory over the Shawinigan Cataractes. Lapierre also wore the A as one of the team’s alternate captains.

Lapierre had a secondary assist and a primary assist in two different Acadie-Bathurst power games.

On Sunday, in the long-distance game of a back-to-back game against his former team, Lapierre collected a secondary assist on a Cole Huckins tied goal.

Acadie-Bathurst lost to Chicoutimi, 5-2.

“Of course, in an ideal world I would have stayed in Washington,” Lapierre said in a French-language interview with TVA Sports a day after returning to Q. “However, I had a great opportunity to play games . It was up to me to catch it. I don’t think I did wrong, but maybe I didn’t do enough to stay all year. I know, however, that I took a huge leap in before.

Lapierre said that “the messages from the Capitals were very positive. They obviously gave me a few points that they would like me to work on. I do feel, however, that they trust me and that’s all I can ask for.

Lappy will now play every night and will have a huge role on Acadie-Bathurst, allowing him to continue to develop. He’s also likely to make Canada’s squad for the 2022 World Junior Championships where he can test his skills against the other top under-20 players outside of the NHL.

“I know I still have a lot to learn,” said Lapierre. “I haven’t played a lot of games in recent years. We have a good team in Bathurst and I think my year will be really good. What I want this year is to have fun playing hockey.

“I know it’s a cliché, but I really want to get better every day. I want to play on the power play, on the penalty kill, take a big face-off and try to help the team win.

Title photo: Elizabeth Kong / RMNB

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