The Washington Capitals‘ roster churn continued Wednesday morning.
The Capitals, who have put several players on injured reserve so far this season, sent youngster Hendrix Lapierre down to his junior league team and put center Nic Dowd on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.
Lapierre, 19, was the Capitals‘ first-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft. He opened the season with the team and appeared in six of the club’s first 12 contests. The center was on the ice for just under 10 minutes a game, and the lone goal he scored came in the Capitals‘ season-opening win over the Rangers.
While Lapierre performed well for a rookie, the team’s decision was expected, as the clock for them to save the first year of his entry-level contract was running out. Players under the age of 20 on entry-level deals who play in under 10 NHL games have the first year of their contract extended by a year.
Lapierre will now play for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Dowd, meanwhile, was injured in the second period of the Capitals‘ win over Buffalo on Monday. His trip to injured reserve is his second this season, as the third-line center was briefly on the shelf earlier this month. He’s missed three games so far this season.
To replace Lapierre and Dowd on the roster, the Capitals recalled center Aliaksei Protas and goalie Zach Fucale from Hershey.
Protas, 20, made his NHL debut on Nov. 1 in the team’s loss to Tampa Bay. He’s one of six rookies to debut for the banged-up Capitals.
Fucale, meanwhile, is the third goaltender on Washington’s roster, behind Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov. The 26-year-old is 3-0-2 in Hershey with a .933 save percentage against the American Hockey League competition.
Vanecek appeared to be banged up at the end of Monday’s game, but he, along with Fucale and Samsonov, did practice Wednesday.