The Washington Capitals have been reluctant to move their first round picks in recent years. Sometimes they’ve entered the draft with more than one first round pick: last year and 2004, when the Caps had three: Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Schultz, and Mike Green. In most cases, holding on to those picks is the smart move – 80% of players picked in the first round between 2000 and 2011 have played at least one NHL game. For comparison’s sake, only 49% of the second round picks ever suit up in the NHL. The only time the Caps haven’t had a first round pick recently was in 2011, when they traded away the 26th pick to cap-saddled Chicago in exchange for Troy Brouwer.

“We didn’t like where the [2011 Draft] was going and we had an opportunity to use our pick to get Brouwer, and it turned out to be a heck of a move for us,” Capitals GM George McPhee said Monday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. “He’s a guy we all liked.” He also added that the trade was an example of a “good working relationship” between the team’s pro and amateur scouts.

This year, it might be smart for the Capitals to trade away the 23rd pick.

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Photo credit: USA NTDP

Hudson Fasching, a prospect projected to be selected in the second round of the NHL draft, has a remarkable family. His two younger siblings, Cooper and Mallory, have a rare genetic condition called  mitochondrial disorder; their brains and muscles don’t receive the energy they need to operate properly.

“I just am very grateful for what I have,” Fasching told NHL.com in April. “I feel like I’m very lucky. It was a statistical thing, a one-in-four chance that they would contract the disease or the genes ended up the way they have. I’m just really lucky that I have all the gifts I’ve been given as a person, and I work that much harder every day to work for them because they can’t do that.”

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Steffen and Markus Soberg during the Division 1 Group A World Juniors (Photo credit: IIHF).

In Norway, NHLers are few and far between. Unlike neighboring Denmark and Germany (let alone Sweden), Norway hasn’t established itself as a producer of elite hockey talent. As of right now, only 18 Norwegians have been selected in the NHL Entry Draft, only seven have played in an NHL game, and just one is currently a part of a big-league roster: the Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello.

Hockey fans from Norway sure hope some of their fellow countrymen will be selected in the upcoming draft and one of the names they’re waiting to be called in Newark in late June will sound familiar for the Caps fans: Markus Soberg.

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Caps draft pick Thomas DiPauli.(Photo credit: Dave Sanford)

After trading their second round pick and Cody Eakin to the Dallas Stars in exchange for center Mike Riberio, Washington did not move any of their other ten picks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. In the first round, they acquired talented winger Filip Forsberg and rough-and-tumble power forward Tom Wilson; through the next six rounds, they would go on to acquire four US players, a Canadian player, a Swedish player, and a Russian.

Notably, the Caps selected three players from the U.S. developmental team, and one player recently of the U.S. developmental team. “I asked [the scouts] ‘What are we doing here?” said McPhee about this trend. “Are we drafting the whole team?’”

“We made a lot of picks today,” McPhee said of the second day overall. “I don’t know those kids very well. [...] It’s nice to sort of restock this year, and we’ll see how they are in a couple of years.”

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Photo credit: Panini America

About a half an hour after the Capitals selected Filip Forsberg at number 11, they had several sexy options at number 16. Two talented Finns were still available in Tuomo Teravainen and Olli Maatta, while PK Subban’s brother Malcolm was also still without a team.

Instead the Caps went a little off the board (THN #25) and drafted six-foot, four-inch right-wing Thomas Wilson.

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Filip Forsberg poses with Gary Bettman, George McPhee, and Ross Mahoney. (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)

As the number 11 pick drew near, it seemed as if George McPhee would get a steal regardless of who he took. Both Mikhail Grigorenko and Filip Forsberg, rated as top five talents heading into the draft, had been passed over by the first ten teams.

When McPhee went up to the podium, he shook off some boos and selected the 17-year-old Swede. Welcome to Washington, Filip Forsberg.

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Photo via Kristy Morrison

Before General Manager George McPhee even had the chance to select Filip Forsberg with the 11th overall pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, he was met by a loud round of boos by Pittsburgh Penguins fans. Fortunately, a noticeably irritated GMGM brought the sass, and unleashed his fury on the crowd.

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

With the 16th selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals selected Tom Wilson of the Plymouth Whalers. Wilson is a right winger and projects to be a rugged power forward who hits hard and plays rough. Wilson is 6’4 and more physically developed than most players of his age, and is an excellent open-ice checker, winning the OHL award for best body checker last year. The Capitals will select next in the third round.

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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

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.

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2012 Capitals NHL Draft Preview: The Goalies

[Editor's note: Here comes the final installment of RMNB's draft coverage. Quick recap: Part 1 was about centers, Part 2 was about wingers, and Part 3 was about defense.]

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.

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