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

Despite Tommy DiPauli’s attempts to tie him up, Johnny Gaudreau scores. (Photo credit: Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe)

The latest installment of one of college hockey’s most exciting rivalries, Boston College vs Notre Dame, also known as “Holy War on Ice”, was played last night at an unusual venue. The Eagles and the Fighting Irish battled in below-freezing temperatures at legendary Fenway Park. Continue Reading

Connor Carrick rushes the puck up ice (Photo credit: Francois Laplante/HHOF-IIHF Images)

World Juniors semifinalists were determined on Thursday. Washington Capitals prospects combined for three points. Riley Barber had one assist to his name, while Andre Burakovsky recorded a pair of helpers.

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Riley Barber Named Team USA Captain For World Juniors

Photo credit: USA Hockey

Washington Capitals prospect Riley Barber has been named captain of Team USA for the upcoming World Junior Championships, per USA Hockey.

Barber, who is set to play on the first line with Danny O’Reagan and Nicolas Kerdiles, is one of just three returnees from last years’ gold medal-winning squad.

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One of three returning players for the US, Riley Barber will be relied upon leadership and scoring (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Three Washington Capitals draft picks have been selected to participate in USA Hockey’s World Juniors training camp, which will be held in Minneapolis this month. It will determine who will represent the country in Malmo, Sweden this winter.

Forwards Thomas DiPauli and Riley Barber, as well as defenseman Connor Carrick (all drafted by the Caps in 2012) are up for roster spots.

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Tom Wilson and Madison Bowey during Caps Development Camp in July. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

[Editor's Note: Fedor has reported on Washington Capitals prospects for RMNB for the last three years. This year we're proud to introduce his prospect rankings. The rankings will be updated three times during the season-- with the goal of updating you on how prospects are or not progressing. The first edition of the rankings come on the second day of Rookie Camp, as Caps prospects jockey for position within the organization.]

The Washington Capitals have re-stocked their prospect pipeline over the past two NHL drafts, giving fans a wealth of new players to get excited about in addition to a few solid free-agent prospects signings.

The 2012 Draft is turning out be a sterling spot on George McPhee’s resume. After picking Filip Forsberg and Tom Wilson in the first round, GMGM made a few strong picks in the latter rounds with Thomas DiPauli, Connor Carrick, Riley Barber, and Christian Djoos– all of whom have been invited to their junior national team camps and left good impressions.

Depth on defense is an area of strength for this crop of talent, with more than a few prospects ready to compete for roster spots as soon as they open.

Below, check out inaugural edition of the RMNB prospect rankings.

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Riley Barber checks Sweden’s David Gunnarsson (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Six Washington Capitals prospects participated in the Lake Placid National Junior Evaluation Camp tournament held this past week featuring teams from the USA, Canada, Finland, and Sweden. The Swedes unofficially won the tournament with three wins in five games.

Under the jump, I recap the performance of all Caps prospects.

Yeah, I watched a lot of internet streams last week.

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A Caps Fan’s Guide To The 2013 NCAA Tournament

Miami University’s Riley Barber headlines a list of Caps prospects at the NCAA Tournament (Photo credit: Rachel Lewis / Triple Deke Photography)

Washington Capitals prospects have been no strangers to the NCAA hockey tournament recently. A year ago, four of them (including then-UFA Cameron Schilling) made it to regionals. This year’s tournament includes six Caps prospects.

Regionals will be held in Toledo, OH; Providence, RI; Grand Rapids, MI; and Manchester, NH. The winners of the tournaments will face each other in Pittsburgh on April 11-13.

Grab yourself a bracket and let’s learn about our competing Caps prospects.

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Caps prospect Patrick Wey (left) poses with the Lefty Smith – “Snooks” Kelley Memorial Trophy. (Photo credit: BC Eagles Facebook Page)

On Friday night, three Washington Capitals prospects participated in the Holy War on Ice, the annual game between Boston College and Notre Dame. Boston College held on to win 3-1, riding two goals from Calgary Flames draft pick Johnny Gaudreau. Caps defensive prospect and Eagles’ assistant captain Patrick Wey helped on Boston College’s first goal of the night, scored by Pat Mullane, while Capitals 2012 fourth-round draft pick Thomas DiPauli scored Notre Dame’s only goal. The Capitals other fourth-round pick of 2012, Austin Wuthrich, didn’t get on the scoresheet for Notre Dame.

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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