Evgeny Kuznetsov drives hard to the net

Photo credit: BuffaloWorldJuniors.com

As we already wrote, the Caps were well represented in 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, sporting five prospects in the tournament. Philipp Grubauer played on the weak German team and Patrick Wey had a situational role on the bronze-medal USA squad.  The other three Caps prospects played in the finals and each had great success in the tournament. So what did they do in the gold medal game? Here is our look at their best moments.

Cody Eakin

Yes, it wasn’t even recorded as an assist, but his hit on Urychev gave Marcus Foligno enough time to make a sweet pass to Brayden Schenn to set up Canada’s third and final goal. Throughout the game, Eakin looked like a guy who can do all the little things: he isn’t afraid to go hard to the net, and he is a tenacious forechecker. That’s why he was put on the first line and was named Canada’s player of the game over Schenn, who’s two-point performance tied a Canadian team record for most points in the tournament.

When will he be a Cap? Eakin was recently traded from the Swift Current Broncos to the Kootenay Ice. The Ice are now leading their division in the WHL and are set for a long run in the playoffs. The WHL playoffs will end in early May and, if they are successful, the Ice will proceed to the Memorial Cup later that month. If that scenario plays out, Eakin will not be able to join Bears unless they go deep in the Calder Cup Playoffs. This is Eakin’s last season of CHL eligibility so we’ll likely see him full-time in either Washington or Hershey next fall.

Evgeny Kuznetsov

Kuznetsov’s assist on a game-tying… WHAT. A. PASS. That move was awesome!

When will he be a Cap? Kuznetsov would not play for the Bears even though Traktor is not close to making the KHL playoffs. He’ll likely be either playing with the White Bears, Traktor’s MHL affiliate or he may elect to undergo another shoulder surgery as soon as humanly possible. In regards to his first full season in the Capitals organization, Kuznetsov aims to play in the North America in the 2012-13 season.

Dmitri Orlov

Dima didn’t have any highlight reel material, but he played responsible and didn’t make any silly decisions. He always checked to see if there was somebody covering his zone when he went on attack. Unlike most of the Russian team, he kept things simple, and dumped the puck in when necessary.

When will he be a Cap? Orlov is still eligible to play in the MHL (the KHL’s development league), however, according to Dmitry Chesnokov, if Orlov is not traded before the end of the KHL season, he wants to play for Hershey during the AHL playoffs. Metallurg’s season is pretty much already over, as they are 20+ points away from the last playoff spot. Regardless, Orlov’s first full professional season with the Capitals organization will begin next season.

Bonus: Video of all of the Caps prospects’ goals in the WJC

Eakin vs Czech Republic (@ 2:12)

Kuznetsov vs Norway

Kuznetsov vs Czech Republic

Orlov vs Czech Republic

Kuznetsov vs Finland

Kuznetsov vs Finland (OTGWG!)