Hendricks Lapierre participated in the NHLPA Rookie Showcase at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
Not only did the 20-year-old rookie announce the first real-life example of the Capitals’ new jersey, but he further demonstrated his experience playing with his childhood idol, Alex Ovechkin, last season.
“It was great,” a smiling Lapierre told media including RMNB. “Yeah, he’s my teammate, but he’s still my idol. I grew up watching him. As you guys saw, I had his poster and a lot of jerseys and stuff. Being with him every day for 30 [days] Last year was amazing. “
Hendricks LaPierre talks about what it was like playing with his idol Alex Ovechkin last season. pic.twitter.com/eymztvNwwP
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) September 6, 2022
In fact, Lapierre and Ovechkin both had significant personal milestones during their first NHL game together. Ovechkin moved into fifth place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list (732) while Lapierre scored his first NHL goal after receiving a sensational feed from TJ O’Shea. Ovechkin and Lapierre then shared a moment on the bench.
As Capitals PA announcer Wes Johnson announced Lappi’s goal, Ovechkin tapped the center prospect’s helmet to congratulate him. Lapierre appeared star-struck. After the game, LaPierre called the experience “a perfect night.”
“[Ovechkin] He’s a great guy,” Lapierre said. “He is very passionate about the game. This is by beating every single record in the most impressive way. I know he wants to meet Gretzky, but he’s really excited for the game. He likes to have fun. I think it’s great to see that these guys love to have fun, but at the same time it’s work time and they’re out there.
He added: “For me, when I got the chance to play with him, it was a dream come true. “I think it will come soon and I hope to talk to him in the next couple of days.”
Ovechkin is reportedly set to return to DC earlier this week. Lapierre is one of about 20 players at MCI who participate in informal skating.
As for the rookie show, LaPierre spent most of his time taking pictures and signing autographs for Upper Deck, the NHL’s trading card partner. Lapierre had another run-in with his idol while doing promotional work for the company.
“We had to have an opener yesterday and I pulled Ovechkin (Card) and Nick Dowd as well,” LaPierre said. “So I got a couple of teammates. That was really fun. I just opened the package and saw Ovechkin and said, ‘Wow, what are the odds?’ I said.”
Subject photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB