Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; A general view of a sand sculpture with the 2013 NHL Draft logo before the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals Draft Profile: Nikolaj Ehlers

Earlier, we looked at the possibility of the Washington Capitals drafting defenseman Haydn Fleury or power forward Jake Virtanen. While I would love it if either of the two fell to the Capitals at #13, there are a few forwards who I would probably take over both of them. One of those players is forward Nikolaj Ehlers.
An incredibly skilled forward, Ehlers makes plays at high speeds and doesn’t mind going to the tough areas in order to score. Scouts see him as an excellent complementary player and have even hesitantly brought up teammate Jonathan Drouin as a comparable, as lofty as that sounds. While playing for Biel last year, he even got to practise with locked-out NHL stars [Tyler] Seguin and [Patrick] Kane. And along with getting the Mooseheads back to the Memorial Cup for a title defense, Ehlers will be counted on at the world juniors next season with Denmark.”-Ryan Kennedy
Nikolaj Ehlers is an extremely talented forward who can make everyone around him better. He’s one of the best skaters in the draft. Not only is he a playmaker, he’s a very good scorer as well. He’s extremely creative with the puck, which makes him difficult to defend. Once he becomes more confident in his shooting ability, Ehlers could be an extremely special player. There are questions about Ehlers’ defense, but I think he should develop into a good (but not great) defensive player. That said, Ehlers is not a guy you want playing too much in the D-zone- his abilities are clearly best suited for the offensive zone. In interviews, Ehlers seems to know exactly what he needs to work on. He has said he really wants to improve his defense and that he realizes that he needs to grow into his frame (he’s only 165 pounds). Here’s what MyNHLDraft.com had to say about him:

Ehlers is an explosive player who can beat even the quickest defensemen wide with his speed. He plays on his off wing and creates chances with sharp cuts to the middle comple- mented by an explosive wrister. He’s equally good with the puck and can handle it both at top speed and in traffic.”

Everything I’ve read about Nikolaj Ehlers suggests that he’s an extremely competitive player and a hard worker who always seeks to improve his game. That’s the kind of attitude that I want to see from the Washington Capitals. I think Ehlers would be a great fit in Washington. Barry Trotz has proven time and time again that if a player is willing to work hard and is willing to learn, he can bring out the best in anyone. Nikolaj Ehlers would give Trotz another talented player to work with.

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Tags: 2014 Nhl Draft NHL Nikolaj Ehlers Washington Capitals

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