Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Capitals complete the 2014 Draft by picking three players in the last three rounds: Shane Gersich, Steven Spinner and Kevin Elgestal. Let’s recap their late-round activity.

Shane Gersich, C, 134th overall

Photo: US NTDP

One thing that stands out about Gersich is that he can fly. He’s a real speedster with tremendous agility.

While not possessing excellent offensive qualities, Gersich is a pretty skilled player. However, at 5-foot-11, 174 pounds his strength is something he’ll need to work on in the coming years.

Gersich played with US National Team Development Program last year and scored 16 goals and 32 points in 61 games. He also played at the U18 World Championships and had no points in seven games. He’s set to play for Omaha Lancers of the USHL next season. In 2015, native of Chaska, Minnesota, is expect to join University of North Dakota.

Steven Spinner, RW, 159th overall

Photo: The Hockey News

The Capitals have traded up, acquiring goalie Eddie Pasquale and this pick from Winnipeg for 164th and 192th picks as well as a seventh-round pick at next year’s Draft.

Steven Spinner who played most of the last season with Eden Prairie high school in Minnesota is a forward with good size and speed. Spinner was a dominant offensive player in high-school. However, he has struggled to maintain the same level of offensive production at the higher level in the USHL. If he can find a way to translate his abilities to college and pro hockey, he may end up a very good pick.

He completed last season with Omaha Lancers of the USHL. This year, he’s expected to join University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Kevin Elgestal, LW/RW, 194th overall

With their last pick Caps went with Swedish forward from Frolunda of the SHL.

Elgestal was ranked 51st among European skaters at the draft. He possesses decent size for his age (6-foot-1, 176 pounds) and has international experience playing at the U18 Worlds and Ivan Hlinka Memorial with Sweden. There, he scored a goal and recorded three points in seven games (two of which came in a 10-0 blowout of Nordic rival Finland).

Elgestal spent majority of the season with Frolunda’s junior squad but got to play in two big league games, becoming one of 19 players under 18 years of age to play in the SHL last season, and one of eight to record at least a point. He finished the year sixth in points in his age group in SuperElit, Sweden’s top junior league.

  • DustinPenncakes

    Here’s to hoping one of them turns out to be a steal like Riley Barber was. Other than that I’m pretty happy with what the Caps did this weekend. You can never have too many scoring winger prospects and adding another prospect in net was a smart idea. Let’s just hope the Caps can now properly develop all of our young guys.

  • Rob W.

    Really like the Gersich pick

  • Guest

    I like the trade to get another goalie prospect but we still haven’t covered our needs. So we are going to either have to sign or trade for a stay at home D plus a #2 center.

  • DustinPenncakes

    I’m really hoping that if the Caps don’t re-sign Grabo they at least make an attempt to go after Stastny.

  • Ash

    We are not going to cover a #2 center or a second pair D in the draft though. You just don’t fill your immediate needs from the draft unless you’re picking in the lottery range, and even then, not always. It was always going to be trade/sign for those needs, and maybe some of the pieces in the draft help accomplish it in trade, but they’re not going to be making an impact for the Caps for at least 2-3 years. So, I don’t worry about the draft affecting our immediate needs; I can only hope they do have that trading/signing plan in place.

  • Pat Magee

    You know know we have plenty of good D prospects in the pipeline already, right? We should’ve gotten a center, but this draft got us a great deal of skill!

  • JenniferH

    I know that Ds or Cs weren’t really going to be answered in the drafts, so it’s up to the trades coming up to deal with those needs. Now let’s see what happens! I can’t really say anything about these picks, I hope they turn out great though. :)

  • Hockeynightincanada

    Most top-tier NHL defensemen are going to be found in the later rounds of the draft. So yes, at this point it’s up to the trading, assuming there are teams interested in someone like Vrana. Likely would mean parting ways with someone like Bowey as well.Question is what quality defensemen or type of defensemen are the Capitals looking to pursue? Acquiring a defenseman of the calibre such as Brent Seabrook, Kronwall, Daley type player will require digging a bit deeper in the return.

    I think the problem offensively is that we’ve been putting guys like Brouwer, Ward, Johansson, and Laich (when healthy) on the top two lines when none are top-two line players with the exception of short-term emergency fill-ins. You want your Tom Wilsons and Fehrs on the top-two lines. Guys with the big body, goal-scoring attributes, and can easily knock guys off of your centers to allow them to carry the play. They could probably satisfy the ‘C’ role via-free agency. Really disappointed Grabovski won’t likely be re-signed.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    The team always has had a decent pool of D prospects. The biggest concern and failure of this organization for years has been transitioning them to the NHL level and developing them to their true potential. People laughed at guys like Schultz, and mock Green for his defensive play, but I can assure you they were two completely different players prior to donning a sweater for this team. Same with Carlson up in London and Alzner in Calgary.

  • Cracker Joe

    What were they like before putting on a Caps jersey?

  • Cracker Joe

    Barber has to perform at the NHL level before we can call him
    a steal. I hope he does well, we’ll see…

  • Hockeynightincanada

    John Carlson was very physical. Had a nasty edge to his game that took guys off the puck and knocked guys off the puck entering the Knights zone.

    Mike Green to the surprise of probably many, had a similar snarl. He had an offensive aspect to his game, but not what he is known for here. He was much more well-rounded and arguably the only bright spot of the Saskatoon Blades during his time there. He showed some of those traits under Glen Hanlon here and briefly under Dale Hunter.

    I can’t complain too much about Alzner. The guy could log lots of minutes. His durability was awesome. He had some incredible mobility and was easily able to retrieve the puck and move it out of the defensive zone with much ease. He was a major piece for team Canada in 2008.

    Schultz was ranked a lot higher than deserved, but I think his true potential had he been put on a team like Boston, St. Louis, or LA early in his career would have been that of a Hal Gill. Strong, durable, a solid #5 or 6 guy that can wear down your 2nd unit. The Caps rushed his development way too fast along with Green. Needed a year or two more in Hershey and certainly was not ready to handle the responsibilities given at the onset of his debut from 06-08.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    He might have been thinking long-term. Does this team see their window of opportunity to win a Stanley Cup within a year or two, or several + years down the road. If it’s the former, then we can say this draft was aimed to stock up and ship for guys that can potentially help us win within a year or two. That however is a stretch considering there were still better players out there at the time and counting.

    As for the latter, it takes about a good 3-4 years, maybe more before some of the later round picks start to pan out with the proper development. To be honest, the Caps biggest mistake when they had a solid farm system was rushing these guys up right away. It wasn’t that they couldn’t draft well. It’s that they had no idea how to develop and use these guys, and the supporting cast put around them wasn’t necessarily useful as well to the ones already here.

  • Cracker Joe

    I don’t believe Fehr is a top two line player; he’s been around
    for quite some time and can’t seem to stick on the top lines.

    As for Vrana, IF he can add strength and say, 15 lbs, he could
    be steal…he’s a relentless dervish from the clips I’ve seen.

  • Cracker Joe

    GREAT comment!
    Thank you, HockeyNight.
    You told me what I’d sensed: that the people responsible
    for developing these prospects mismanaged them and
    hindered their progress.
    Thanks again.

  • Hockeynightincanada

    He’s not my ideal top two-line player, and wouldn’t crack that spot in the lineup for most NHL teams, but when you look at who we have now, it’s one of the better options than plugging in Laich, Ward or Brouwer. Not ragging on the three, just pointing out that they are designed as third line players and are meant to play there. That was the intention in acquiring all three of them at the respective times.

    I’ve seen Vrana a few times. I still believe there were better options for the Caps out there than him, but if he reaches his full potential, he’ll be pretty decent. Problem is, if the bigger issues at hand aren’t addressed, it’s going to make Vrana’s job much more difficult.

  • Cracker Joe

    Agreed.
    I’ll admit I was surprised we took him and the czech
    goalie with the first two picks. I thought for sure we’d
    draft a center or D-man. But after watching Vrana’s
    clips he may surprise us ( God, I hope so! ).

  • Hockeynightincanada

    I’ll sum this up in short. Just my two cents. What made the Caps offense so dynamic from 2008 to 2010? Their defense was far from commendable, but guys like Jurcina, Erskine, and Shaone Morrisonn were at least physical, and that allowed Green and our offensive units on the ice to carry out the play. Other guys like Bradley, Clark, Gordon and Steckel also put a wear and tear on the opposition’s top scoring lines, which leveled out the play. Chris Clark and ShaMo were under-appreciated for their time here. They made the jobs of Ovie, Backstrom, Semin, Green, and Flash a lot easier.

    For Vrana to achieve that potential, or any other offensive players acquired or developed, the Caps need those type of players to be used properly. Go and watch clips of Brouwer from his time in Chicago, or Ward in Nashville. Laich in his early days here prior to Boudreau taking over. They had similar roles. Great PK players, a bit of an offensive upside, but for the most part, made the job for the top scorers on their team easier. Really this team could have one of the best 3rd and 4th lines in their division if used properly. Problem is that hasn’t been achieved.

  • Cracker Joe

    Well said.
    A physical defense and physical 3rd and 4 lines
    can,and do, open the game for the skilled players
    to do what they do: score.
    I am hoping Trotz will bring this aspect to the fore
    in DC and I’m hoping GMBM will get him the players
    he needs to do so.

  • Roy Schue

    Trading or signing is the only way we will fix those problems for next season. Fixing them through the draft wouldn’t have an impact for a few years. We have some good, solid young Dmen in the system for down the road. We need help now. At least 1 preferably two top 4 Dmen. And I’m still holding out hope in retaining Grabo

  • Pat Magee

    Barry Trotz is gonna develop this D core the right way though, and i think Green can still come back and be awesome again!

  • pat

    Looks like a Mcphee draft. Wingers and small ones at that. No defenders. No tough guys. Take note of Kings, Blackhawks, and Bruin draft picks. I am beyond disappointed. Shows the Caps want to continue to draft the same sort of forwards also. Just follow the teams which have been winners the last ten years and they follow a certain blueprint. Caps follow the old template of 1980s and 90s style forwards. Of course everyone on here and Japers is thrilled. The only move I have liked this offseason is bringing in Trotz.

  • Ash

    “To be honest, the Caps biggest mistake when they had a solid farm system was rushing these guys up right away.”

    True more recently, to be sure, but I would disagree that this was actually the case when the cupboard was more extensively stocked. My main point is and remains though, you don’t draft for immediate need for your franchise with the idea that those pieces being drafted are going to fill that immediate need. You draft BPA and work on filling your holes through trades/signings.