Smith-Pelly Recalled, Vanecek Returns to Bears
April 19, 2019The Washington Capitals announced today that the club has recalled forward Devante Smith-Pelly. Additionally, the team has re-assigned goaltender Vitek Vanecek to the Hershey Bears. The announcements were made by Washington's senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan.
Smith-Pelly, 26, collected 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 20 games as a member of the Bears. He had a hat-trick in Hershey's Mar. 10 victory at Hartford as part of a five-game point streak that lasted from Mar. 8-15.
The winger had eight points (four goals, four assists) in 54 contests with the Capitals this season. He helped the Capitals to a Stanley Cup Championship in 2018, scoring eight points (seven goals, one assist) in 24 playoff games. He notched a goal in Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final versus Vegas, and scored the tying goal in the deciding Game 5 victory.
Vanecek, 23, recorded a 21-10-6 record with Hershey this season, posting a 2.62 goals against average, a .907 save percentage, and two shutouts. He was the first Hershey goaltender to record 20 or more wins since Dan Ellis posted 25 victories during the 2015-16 campaign. Vanecek, a native of Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic, was honored as the the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 21, and was named to the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic.
Vanecek was drafted by the Capitals in the 2nd round, 39th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft. With the Bears, Vanecek is 52-33-15 in his 110-game AHL career, posting a 2.69 goals against average, a .903 save percentage, and nine shutouts. Prior to joining Hershey, he was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team with the South Carolina Stingrays in 2015-16.
The Bears open the 2019 Calder Cup Playoffs presented by CJ's Tire and Automotive tonight with Game 1 of a best-of-five series versus the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Webster Bank Arena at 7 p.m. The game may be viewed on AHLTV and heard on the Bears Radio Network.
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