With the 13th overall pick in the Draft, the Washington Capitals have selected 18-year-old Czech winger Jakub Vrana out of Linkoping of the SHL. The pick was surprising considering that Vrana was ranked 23rd overall in Craig Button’s ranking.
While the Washington Capitals’ past season was an unmitigated disaster, there was one bright spot located about 364 miles northwest of the district in Erie, Pennsylvania. Unheralded 2013 first round draft pick Andre Burakovsky had a breakout year with the OHL’s Erie Otters. His rapid development in Erie could launch him into the NHL next season.
But things could have gone very differently. Last July, after being selected fifth overall by the Otters in the CHL Draft, Burakovsky revealed disappointment with the decision, telling a local reporter, “this is not what I had in mind.” The young Swede, who spent the season before playing for the Malmo Redhawks of the HockeyAllsvenskan, did not want to join the OHL team.
It wasn’t until some convincing from then-GM George McPhee that Burakovsky signed on to play for the Otters, who were led by future 2015 first overall draft pick Connor McDavid.
The Indiana Ice, featuring Washington Capitals draft pick Brian Pinho, have won the Clark Cup. In game five of a best-of-five series, the Ice rallied to beat Waterloo Black Hawks 3-2 to win the USHL championship. Pinho scored the game-winning goal with just over two minutes to go in the third period.
Two Washington Capitals Capitals prospects, Zach Sanford and Brian Pinho, will play against each other in the Clark Cup finals of the USHL, the top-tier junior league in the United States.
Pinho’s Indiana Ice swept the Dubuque Fighting Saints in a best-of-five series while Sanford’s Waterloo Black Hawks needed four games to defeat the Sioux City Musketeers, a team featuring another Caps prospect, Blake Heinrich.
After two series, Sanford, a 61st overall pick at the 2013 Draft, has seven points in seven games, while Pinho, who was a 174th overal pick at the same Draft and finished 15th in points in the regular season, has just three in seven.
Two top Washington Capitals prospects in the Canadian Hockey League, Andre Burakovsky and Madison Bowey, saw their team’s seasons end on Friday night. Burakovsky’s Erie Otters fell to the Guelph Storm, and Bowey’s Kelowna Rockets were knocked out by the Portland Winterhawks (who feature another Caps draft pick, Garrett Haar).
“Where were you when it happened?” That’s what your grandchildren will ask you about the events of April 19, 2014, when the Capitals announced the trade of a 20-year-old WHL D-man for a pick that has a one-in-nine chance of having an NHL career.
Jaynen Rissling has played 273 games for the Calgary Hitmen, who were eliminated from the playoffs by the Kootenay Ice last month. Rissling now belongs to the Nashville Predators and everything has changed.
We are now living in the Post-Rissling Era. Adjust your calendars accordingly.
Washington Capitals prospect Madison Bowey scored a goal and tallied an assist in the Kelowna Rockets’ game one 5-4 Western Conference finals win over a team with another Caps’ draft pick, Garrett Haar‘s Portland Winterhawks.
Andre Burakovsky‘s junior team, the Erie Otters, kicked off the OHL Western conference finals against Guelph Storm on Thursday.
The series features the league’s two best regular-season teams and could become the best match-up of the playoffs, featuring three NHL first-round draft selections (Burakovsky, Brendan Gaunce, and Jason Dickinson) as well as three shoo-ins to be picked in the first round of either 2014 or 2015 (Robby Fabbri, Connor McDavid, and Dylan Strome).
Game One more than lived up to the hype: the teams combined for nine goals on 53 shots, trading the lead all game long. Guelph won 5-4 at home and retained home-ice advantage. Burakovsky, playing on the Otters second line with Strome and Michael Curtis, was the catalyst of Erie’s attacks, earning third star of the game honors.
On Wednesday, Washington Capitals third-round pick Chandler Stephenson played in his first game as a Hershey Bear. His team battled the Norfolk Admirals, with whom they were tied in points for eighth and final postseason spot but held the tiebreaker, on the road.