With a month left in the season, the Eastern Conference-leading Washington Capitals could potentially face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs. The Bolts currently sit four points out of the second wild card spot, but were dealt a big blow on Thursday.
Tampa Bay lost three of their centers, Vladislav Namestnikov, Tyler Johnson, and Cedric Paquette, to lower-body injuries during their game against the Minnesota Wild.
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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