This past weekend’s NHL Draft was a busy time for the Washington Capital’s General Manager George McPhee and the scouts. The day began with 11 draft picks spread throughout the 2 days/7 rounds, but after a quick trade of Cody Eakin that included our 2nd round pick for Dallas Stars center Mike Ribeiro, George McPhee still had 10 picks to go. Ten picks is still nothing to sneeze at, and the resulting acquisitions helped fill out a nice roster of prospects for the team. Here is a brief breakdown of the players drafted:
Round 1/Pick 11 was Filip Forsberg (as Joe B would say “No relation” to retired NHLer Peter Forsberg). Rated as an excellent pick that was expected to be snatched up long before the 11th pick, the talented center still has one year left to play in Sweden before coming to the Caps, but he’s an effective two-way player with good puck handling skills.
Round 1/Pick 16 was Canadian forward Tom Wilson. Many reporters are calling this pick “The steal of the draft”. Based on his performance with the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL and on the scouting reports, it looks like Tom is going to bring some body-checking physical contact and intimidation to the ice as a tough power forward when he gets here.
The Round 2 pick on Saturday was part of the trade of Cody Eakin for Mike Ribeiro.
Round 3/Pick 77 went to WHL player Chandler Stephenson (18), listed on the draft report as left wing and center, and played with fellow Caps prospect Garrett Mitchell in 2010-2011
Round 4/Pick 100 was USHL center Thomas Di Pauli (18)
Round 4/Pick 107 got us Notre Dame right wing Austin Wuthrich (18)
Round 5/Pick 137 resulted in USHL defenseman Connor Carrick (18). All three of these players were from the 2010-2011 USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.
Round 6/Pick 167 was for right wing Riley Barber (18), another USHL player who won the USHL Clark Cup championship in 2010-2011
Round 7/Pick 195 went to Swedish defenseman Christian Djoosck (17), who was a teammate of first round pick Filip Forsberg on the Swedish Under-18 World Junior Championship team
Round 7/Pick 197 resulted in WHL defenseman Jaynen Rissling (18). Fun fact about Jaynen, his uncle Gary played 37 games for the Washington Capitals in 1978
Round 7/Pick 203 is when we picked up Russian goalie Sergei Kostenko (19). Interestingly enough, Sergei, who is a friend of Caps defenseman Dmitri Orlov, was unranked for the 2012 draft. GM McPhee and his team had to request his qualifying listing before they could pick him; but apparently, Sergei had been on the Caps radar for a few years now.
Do not expect to see any of the 2012 draftees in the ice at Verizon Center this upcoming season. If they don’t have a year left on their current teams, they will be back in college when autumn rolls around.
So, what’s up for the rest of the summer? Lots! Development camp starts in two weeks. The team is still in need of a coach; expect an announcement any day now. Mark July 1 on your calendars as the day free agency starts. And The National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) is meeting this week to discuss the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the players and the league. Brooks Laich is the player’s association rep for the team, but I hear that Ovechkin and Brouwer are also present. Keep your eyes on the Washington Capitals website as well as the Caps Twitter (@washcaps) and Facebook account for up to the minute news all summer long.