When it comes to defensemen in the draft, behind Ekbald and Fleury, it gets real thin. There is on guy that I have looked at that might just be a fit for the Washington Captials should the other two be gone, which they most likely will be come the 13th pick.
It might be a stretch, but with a defense-minded philosophy in Trotz, Julius Honka may be moving up the ranks and see himself in Washington sooner that anyone thinks.
Julius Honka stands at 5’10″ 178#s. He is on the smaller side of the ball but is a offensive-minded defenseman. In 62 games with the Swift Current Broncos, WHL, he was able to produce 56 points.
A tremendously gifted skater possessing four-way dynamic mobility, Julius Honka gets up and down the ice more efficiently than any other defender in his class. Athletically gifted, Honka utilizes his elite hockey sense, ability to read the play quickly and poise in possession to control the tempo of the game. It’s his swift skating that allows him to pounce on turnovers and quickly turn the play up the ice for a scoring chance. Playing in an undersized and underdeveloped frame, Honka relies on his intelligence and sharp footwork to contain his opponents defensively and isn’t a liability, like most offensive defensemen can be.
I like Honka’s transition speed and his ability to recover if he does get beat. He is able to jump on the puck with turnovers and change direction real quick. These are great attributes for an offensive defenseman and he is able to play defense as well. I think that Honka may have moved up on my board and you can get the offense that you might need out of a forward in the frame of a defenseman that seeks the puck out. I like him at 13 with the Caps.