The Hershey Bears announced Saturday morning that the team has signed defenseman Martin Has to a one-year deal.
Has, a 6′-4″, right-handed defenseman from the Czech Republic, was selected 153rd overall in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL draft by the Washington Capitals (Capitals traded up to get Has). The 21 year-old went unsigned by the Capitals.
A big two-way defenseman, Has spent 2014-2017 with the HC Sparta Praha program, appearing in 88 games, collecting 15 goals and 24 assists, all while often competing against players two and three years older than him. For the next two seasons, Has played with the Tappara U20 team in the Finnish Ice Hockey Association, playing in 84 games and registering 32 points.
After a strong 2018-2019 season with Tappara U20, Has headed to Vancouver for the 2019 NHL Draft. While travelling out west, he ran into a slight problem. “I was there for the draft in Vancouver, but I didn’t get my luggage, so I had to borrow a suit; it was small because I am a tall guy,” Has said, chuckling. Appropriately dressed for the occasion, he waited until the fifth round when finally, the Washington Capitals called his name and made him an NHL prospect with the 153rd selection.
The 2019-2020 season was a whirlwind for Has. After being selected 153rd overall in the fifth round of the 2019 NHL draft by the Capitals, Has was then selected by the OHL’s North Bay Battalion in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2019 CHL Import Draft. (Clubs in the OHL are permitted two imported players on their roster). Has was one of just 12 players selected by CHL teams, that were already drafted by NHL organizations.
Has began the 2019-2020 season with the Tappara U20 team, scoring a goal in two games, but was subsequently called up to Liiga with Tappara for five games. Has had a goal and an assist before being loaned to Koovee in the Finnish Mestis League where he played in 13 games, registered a goal, and was +4.
Has then left Koovee for the World Junior tournament where he played on Czech Republic’s top defensive pairing, recording a goal and three points in five games. Following the World Junior Championship, has was loaned by the Capitals to the North Bay Battalion, where he played one game before being traded to the Guelph Storm.
His time with the Storm lasted just twenty games before the league shut down, but it was valuable time for learning the differences between European and North American ice. “I had to get used to the smaller rink and the more physical game,” said Has. “The game is much more physical in North America; in Finland, there were a lot of tactics, here it is more about playing hockey.”
The 2020-21 season was relatively quiet for Has. Because of the pandemic, he would play in just nine games for the calendar year. He reported to the Team Czech Republic U20 training camp in late November and played in five games in the 2021 World Junior Championship. Prior to reporting to his national team he played four games for HC Benatky nad Jizerou in the second tier Czech league.
Has played a full season in 2021-22, including 57 regular season games and 16 postseason games for Shawinigan Cataractes in the QMJHL. Has played the entire season on the right side of Shawinigan’s top defensive pairing. Offensively, he recorded 8 goals and 12 assists in the 57 games played,
Has and Shawinigan would ultimately win the QMJHL title on June 11. He recorded two goals and four assists in 16 postseason games.
Has made his Bears debut on Wednesday in the team’s first preseason game against the Penguins in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but left the game in the first period due to an apparent injury.
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) October 5, 2022
The Bears return to action tonight for their second preseason game when they visit the Lehigh Vally Phantoms in Allentown, PA. Puck drop is set for just after 7PM.
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