jaynen-rissling

Photo: WHL Images

“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.

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Washington Capitals Prospect Rankings: Winter 2014

Chandler Stephenson has been one of the most impressive Caps prospects this season (Photo: Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The first half of the 2013-14 season has been mostly positive for Washington Capitals prospects. Unknowns like Andre Burakovsky and Chandler Stephenson have shown real NHL potential, while the elder statesmen of the pool like Nate Schmidt and Patrick Wey, both coming off tremendous college careers, have made steps up the Caps’ depth chart.

However, top two Caps prospects will wish their first half was better: Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s injuries have limited his action and Tom Wilson has had a hard time gaining a meaningful role with the big club.

The feel-good story of the season so far has been Stephenson, who had been bugged by injuries in the past, but is now thriving in a veteran role as an offensive go-to guy for his team. I’ve got more on these stories and our full top-20 ranking below. Continue Reading

Photo credit: WHL Images

Washington Capitals’ 2012 seventh-round pick Jaynen Rissling, who impressed last year thanks to his grit and character, will return to his home province of Alberta for one more year with WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.

This year will be crucial for the development of the 6-foot-4, 223-pound defenseman as he’ll be playing not only for his team, but also for an entry-level contract with the Caps. And it’s gonna be a special year for him.

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Jaynen Rissling chases down Erik Benoit. (Photo credit: Kevin Hiscock/Calgary Hitmen)

As the CHL regular season winds down, a few Caps prospects are heating up. Three of four are playing on powerhouse teams and will be looking to make a splash come playoff time.

Recently, Caps prospects Jaynen Rissling (a seventh round pick in the 2012 draft) of the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen and Tom Wilson (first-round selection in 2012) of the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers, each posted big performances.

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Caps prospect Jaynen Rissling is a man of many talents. Not only is the Capitals 7th round pick on pace to have a career year with the Calgary Hitmen, the 6’4″, 223-pound defenseman is also a natural in front of the camera, as evidenced by the holiday video below.

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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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