Credit: Don Healy, Regina Leader Post
After selecting Jonas Siegenthaler in the second round, the Capitals have dipped back into the defenseman pool. With their fifth-round selection, #143 overall, Washington took Connor Hobbs from the WHL’s Regina Pats. Hobbs is 6’1″ and 190 lbs, and is known for his two-way play.
The defenseman began the year with fellow Capitals prospect Tyler Lewington with the Medicine Hat Tigers, but was traded to the Regina Pats during the season after requesting one. He posted sixteen points in thirty-three games with the Pats after the trade. He also played at the Ivan Hlinka tournament for Canada’s U-18 team, posting two assists in five games. Described as a raw, toolsy defender with lots of upside, the Capitals must have liked what they saw after Connor Hobbs got more playing time and development playing with his new team.
BSN Denver describes him as a steady defender:
For the Regina Pats, Connor Hobbs is the kind of “jack of all trades,” two-way defenseman that a team can rely on to play lots of minutes in a variety of situations. Hobbs’ skating needs a lot of work, especially in transition, but he is very mindful of his gap control and smart enough in his defensive zone that his legs don’t get him into trouble. Hobbs isn’t particularly big or physical, but he stands up very straight and looks bigger than his 6’1” frame. Hobbs has a good reach and does a great job of disrupting offensive plays with a poke check.
At times, Hobbs is a too passive in his defensive zone, always waiting for the play to come to him instead of aggressively chasing down forwards and taking the puck. Overall, Hobbs is a safe and steady player in his own end and needs to take a leap towards being more dominant next season, controlling the pace of the game by aggressively managing his own zone.
Connor Hobbs will have time to develop his game playing in the WHL for several years. He sounds like a high-upside player to be gotten at this point in the draft, and the Capitals have to like his potential though he had a tumultuous year between Medicine Hat and Regina. A right-handed defenseman, the organization continues to add depth on the blue-line as prospects like Madison Bowey and Connor Carrick draw closer to the pros. Connor Hobbs should be ready to contribute to the Capitals in three or four years.
What do you think, Capitals fans?