Connor McMichael could represent the future of the Washington Capitals offense. The 25th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Entry Draft has spent the past season in Hershey, where his scoring ability has been on full display.
In 31 games played, McMichael has racked up 12 goals, 9 assists. The center is the Bears leading goal scorer, and is second in total points (21) only to veteran Matt Moulson who has 23. In fact, he’s 12th in total points scored amongst rookies in the AHL.
“He’s the real deal, but I think the best compliment [that] I can pay Mics is [that] he’s a gamer,” said Hershey Bears Head Coach Spencer Carbery.
Carbery says McMichael thrives in pressure situations, which is somewhat unusual for a play who is only 20-years-old in his first AHL season.
“When the games get really competitive, tight game 1-1 in the third period, a hostile environment in Wilkes and it’s a chippy game, he plays his best in [those] big moments,” Carbery said. “Especially for someone that young, usually situations like that overwhelm them. Usually it’s like ‘woah, I’m just trying to find my footing.’ [But] he embraces it and wants the puck and wants to be the guy. It’s almost like the bigger the situation, the better he plays, which is really, really impressive at his age.”
In 2018-19, he put up 36 goals and 72 points in 67 games with the OHL’s London Knights. The next season he improved even further with 47 goals and 102 points in 52 games.
McMichael has become a highly followed prospect in international hockey playing for Team Canada in the 2021 World Junior Tournaments in 2020 and 2021. Canada won gold in 2020; in seven games, McMichael scored five goals and seven points.
The Hershey Bears finish their season with two home games on May 15 and 16.
Bears Coach Carbery joined The Sports Extra Podcast to talk about the strangest AHL season, McMichael and his perspective on playing in a pandemic. You can watch that interview here. If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast, you can do that here. The abc27 sports team posts new episodes every Thursday.