Troy Brouwer

Apparently the Capitals have traded for the hockey-equivalent of Keanu Reeves.

The Caps didn’t call any names on day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minnesota but they did not stand pat, trading their 26th overall selection to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for the negotiating rights to Troy Brouwer. Washington hasn’t been shy with their disfavor of this year’s draft class with General Manager George McPhee saying there were few “real difference makers” and the club trading away their first three picks.

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Sure his nickname is the Undertaker, but even for himself, Capitals General Manager George McPhee has been particularly dour regarding this year’s NHL Draft. Last week, when Olaf Kolzig was introduced as the new associate goaltending coach, McPhee was asked about the draft and said that it lacked “real difference makers.” Today, McPhee sat down with Capitals’ senior writer Mike Vogel and elaborated. “I haven’t loved this draft,” McPhee lamented. “There are some decent players early on. I think it levels off in a hurry. I think once you get past 14 or 15 players, there are lots of players who have a chance to play but by no means are a lock.”

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Last year, I profiled three Russians that I thought the Capitals might consider drafting at pick number twenty six of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stanislav Galiev, and Maxim Kitsyn. Two of those three players were actually selected by the team: Kuznetsov in the first round and Galiev in the third. This year, I want to see if I can work my magic again.

The 2011 NHL Entry Draft, set to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Friday, June 24th and Saturday, June 25th, will see the Capitals picking 26th for the second year in a row. Since this year’s draft pool is weak and lacks what George McPhee calls “real difference makers,” I will be focusing on four prospects who are somehow connected to the Capitals.

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