WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals signed restricted free agent Beck Malenstyn to a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 at the NHL level and $90,000 at the AHL level, the club announced Thursday. The 23-year-old Malenstyn returns to the Capitals organization after missing the 2021 campaign due to surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon he suffered while doing training in early December 2020. A beloved player in Hershey, Malenstyn’s presence was sorely missed during the shortened season.
Malenstyn has recorded 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) over 120 career games with the Bears, making his Hershey debut during the 2018-19 season and specializing as a two-way play. The young forward was well on his way to setting a new career-best in points during the 2019-20 season before it was cut short, tallying seven goals and eight assists through 46 games. The Capitals selected Malenstyn in the fifth round, 145th overall, during the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and he made his NHL debut with the Capitals on November 20, 2019 against the New York Rangers.
Here’s the winning goal from tonight’s game as Beck Malenstyn provides the heroics! pic.twitter.com/HA9luaswob
— Bears Hockey Nation (@HBHNationBlog) January 12, 2020
The forward’s value often goes beyond the score sheet, as Malenstyn is a heart-and-soul player that provides a ton of energy. Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 200 pounds, Malenstyn is no stranger to throwing his weight around on the ice with crushing hits and is a frequent flyer on the penalty kill and late-game situations, often blocking key shots to preserve leads for the Bears. Malenstyn has two shorthanded goals over his time in Hershey, along with four game-winners, and was recognized as Hershey’s Man of the Year during the 2018-19 season.
It’ll be an adjustment for Malenstyn to return to professional hockey after being off the ice for well over a year – his last game action came on March 8, 2020. Training camp and all that precedes it will be important for him to get back to full strength, but his energy and speed were sorely missed by the Bears this past season. Although the team was able to find success in his absence, having him in the lineup each night will be one more important step towards building a roster that competes for the Calder Cup.
On Friday, the Bears announced they have re-signed defenseman Macoy Erkamps to a one-year AHL contract. The 26-year-old Erkamps skated in nine games for the Bears during the 2021 season posting a plus-two rating in that span. The defender skated in 31 games with Hershey’s ECHL affiliate, the South Carolina Stingrays, during the regular season in addition to 13 playoff games in the team’s run to the Kelly Cup Finals.
Erkamps was a solid contributor when called upon by the Bears. He steadily improved his game and dressed in most of Hershey’s game through the conclusion of the season as the team was hit hard by injuries. His signing provides a valuable depth option which is so important at the AHL level, and Erkamps should play hard to earn a steady role with the Bears this season.
Erkamps ties it ?️ Let’s go Rays! pic.twitter.com/7mjDn1BZAM
— SC Stingrays (@SCStingrays) June 18, 2021
The signing of Erkamps is the first AHL signing by the Bears this summer, as their NHL affiliate has been working on re-signing players on restricted free agent terms. Hershey has a number of currently vacant blue line spots which should make this the first of many defenseman signings for the team.
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