With the 11th selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals selected Filip Forsberg of the Leksands IF in the Swedish ice hockey league Allsvenskan. Forsberg is a winger and projects to be an outstanding offensive player. He was rated the top European skater and had been projected to go 3rd overall. In three years with Leksands, Forsberg has scored 30 goals and notched 58 points, as well as being a dominant player in this year’s World Juniors tournament. The Capitals will now select again at pick #16.
The Washington Capitals have dealt Cody Eakin and their second round pick (54th overall) to the Dallas Stars for high-scoring center Mike Ribeiro. Ribeiro is 32-years-old, has a cap hit of $5 million, and is in the last year of his five-year contract.
If we were reviewing Dennis Wideman‘s season before the All-Star Break, or even in March, this would be an entirely different story. We’d talk about his almost-hat-trick, his stellar offense, his first All-Star Game. We still talk about all of those things, but there is a lot more yelling — because unfortunately for Dennis Wideman, the playoffs happened.
The Capitals have had tremendous success in drafting netminders these last few years with names like Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth, Braden Holtby, and Philipp Grubauer. Last year they drafted Norwegian goalie Steffen Soberg in the 4th round, who was a long shot to make the NHL. He declined to play for the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) and was dealt from the less-than-mediocre Manglerud Star team to a more powerful Valerenga squad and signed a multi-year deal there. Knowing that, the Caps may think they need to add one more goalie to their depth chart. If they’ll be looking to do it early, there are three pretty equal goalies.
The Capitals have a solid young core on the blueline that should last for some more time. That’s the result of successful work by McPhee and his staff at the last few NHL drafts. Of the seven defensemen likely returning, five of them were drafted by the Capitals, and all are 25 or younger. The prospect pool at the back end looks pretty decent as well with the acquisitions of promising players like Tomas Kundratek, Kevin Marshall, and Cameron Schilling, as well as the steady development of stay-at-home defenseman Patrick Wey in the NCAA. At the same time, with the graduation of Dmitry Orlov, the prospect list now lacks top-end potential. If the Caps feel like they need to strengthen their future top 4, they may look for a defenseman in the first round, especially since this draft is considered deep in that position.
In their current D-corps line-up, the Caps have John Carlson (RFA), Karl Alzner, Mike Green (RFA), Roman Hamrlik, Dmitry Orlov, Jeff Schultz, and John Erskine. Among the prospects, the standouts are Patrick Wey, Tomas Kundratek, Kevin Marshall, Brett Flemming, and Cameron Schilling.
Despite Caps fans clamoring for another top six center, the Caps could certainly use one or two more wingers in the near future. With Kuznetsov’s delayed arrival and the likely departure of Alexander Semin, there’s a hole in the flanks. With the picks they have, the Caps could select a player who could contribute on the second line– particularly if they switch back to the fast-paced style of play that George McPhee hinted at during a pre-draft meeting with the media.
In their NHL line-up, the Caps currently have Alex Ovechkin, Jason Chimera, and Matt Hendricks on the left wing; and Troy Brouwer and Joel Ward on the right wing. The Caps’ top prospect is Stanislav Galiev at left and Evgeny Kuznetsov, somewhere far away, at right.
The search for the mythical Playoffs Performer led George McPhee to get a little carried away bidding for Joel Ward last summer–and like it always does, Ward’s paycheck led to expectations. When the playoffs rolled around, we were all watching intently to see if Joel Ward would evolve into a Charizard or something.
The NHL awards are always a weird hodgpodge affair of C-list celebrities and jokes that seemed funny before they were read off the teleprompter, but we got our own slice of specialized absurdity tonight, just for the Caps. In the video below, former Arrested Development star Will Arnett impersonates Brendan Shanahan — bored monotone and all — and disciplines Alex Ovechkin for a parking violation.
The Washington Capitals hold the 11th and 16th overall picks in this year’s draft. As such, they have a chance to re-stock a prospect pool that has become more shallow with the maturation of players like Marcus Johansson, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov, and Michal Neuvirth. Although it is possible that George McPhee may deal one or both picks in a trade, let’s consider his options at 11 (acquired from Colorado for Semyon Varlamov) and 16.
Starting with the Centers.
The Capitals currently own Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Brooks Laich, Mathieu Perreault (RFA), and Jay Beagle (RFA). On their prospect rosters, there’s Cody Eakin, Mattias Sjogren, Caleb Herbert, and Zach Hamill (RFA).
The lack of top-six centers has been a problem for Washington since Sergei Fedorov left. They’ve drafted a few centers in the first round in recent years, but Anton Gustafsson was a bust, Evgeny Kuznetsov switched to wing and won’t join the Caps until 2014, and Marcus Johansson looks to be more and more comfortable at wing. That leaves the Caps with a big hole at the 2C spot. With the list of available players in this draft pool, McPhee could can fill that hole this June.
Jeff Schultz has a good, strong German name with lots of consonants, which makes it very satisfying to yell. This is fortunate, since we yelled his name a lot this season. If you yell it angrily enough, it almost feels like swearing, doesn’t it? We appreciate the small blessings.