After trading up to the end of the second round, the Washington Capitals selected defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler with the #57 overall pick of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Jonas Siegenthaler, a Swiss player, currently plies his trade with the ZSC Lions in the Swiss National League A. At 6’3″, 220 lbs., Jonas Siegenthaler seems close to being NHL ready and plays a two-way defensive game, which was attractive to Washington. He has the size and the experience to be in the league quite soon.
Jonas Siegenthaler plays under former NHL coach Marc Crawford with ZSC — after selecting Mike Keenan-coached Ilya Samsonov in the first round yesterday, the Capitals have gone for two players who serve under experienced bench bosses, which has to be an attraction. The Swiss defenseman, though, has plenty of international experience for his home country. He’s played in three U-18 World Championships for Switzerland, and was on their U-20 team this past year, as well. The Caps have to like the great amount of experience he’s accumulated thus far.
The Capitals also had a need for left-handed defensemen: top defensive prospects like Madison Bowey and Connor Carrick both shoot right-handed, while Siegenthaler is a lefty. Moreover, he adds a solid, two-way element to the system, much like Bowey, that counterbalances the offensive-minded games of Carrick, Nate Schmidt, and Christian Djoos. His game is a steady one: he’s unafraid to play physically, block shots, or make the smart play instead of the flashy one. He’s also got great skating ability, and isn’t a plodder in his own zone. Yet his offensive game, as a result, isn’t as developed, and scouts have questioned his shot from the point. That’ll be something worth working on as he continues to develop.
The downsides for this pick? The Capitals traded their third and fourth round picks to move up a mere four spots to snag Jonas Siegenthaler. While they were thrilled that he was still there, it’s questionable asset management to give up so much to move up so little. The Capitals won’t pick again until the fifth round, #143 overall. In a deep draft, that might not be the safest idea.
Jonas Siegenthaler’s slated to spend one more year in Switzerland, and then will come over to North America to perhaps play for the Hershey Bears. He should be ready to contribute to the Capitals in two to three years.
What do you think, Capitals fans?