Could the Washington Capitals trade John Carlson this offseason? It might be in the best interest of both parties.
After another season without a Stanley Cup, the Washington Capitals are likely going to make some changes. Most of these changes will occur due to free agency, with the Caps having five valuable unrestricted free agents. They’ll be lucky to sign one of them and it’s impossible to see the team keeping more than two of them.
If the Caps are going to make any huge changes though, it will come from the roster. Depending on what direction the Capitals decide to go in this offseason, they must look into trading some of their players who will be free agents after the 2017-18 NHL season. Washington has three players who fit this bill – Jay Beagle, Lars Eller and John Carlson.
More from Editorials
- Alex Ovechkin will score 50 goals in 2023-24
- It’s time for Capitals fans to chill out with the Anthony Mantha hate
- The Capitals Have Several Potentially Bad Contracts
- Nic Dowd looks to show reliability
- Dylan Strome’s Contract Could Be A Steal For The Capitals
Moving either of the first two isn’t too logical. Both likely have more value closer to the trade deadline. While the same is true for Carlson, unlike Eller and Beagle, he could easily fetch them a first round pick at the 2017 NHL Draft. If someone offers a first round pick for him and extension talks aren’t working out, the Capitals should consider it for several reasons.
Why trading him makes sense
First of all, people who think the 2017 draft is below average likely suffer from recency bias. The 2015 and 2016 drafts have spoiled people. Both drafts are likely going down in history as one of the best of all-time. Heck, the 2016 draft might wind up being comparable to the 2003 draft. Sure, the 2017 draft doesn’t have a Connor McDavid or an Auston Matthews. It doesn’t even have a Patrik Laine or Jack Eichel. But comparing the talent to years past (excluding the past two years), it’s an average to slightly above average draft.
Secondly, and most importantly, the Washington Capitals could REALLY use a first round pick. They’ve given up a lot of assets in their pursuit of a Stanley Cup. Currently, the Caps don’t even have a draft pick until the fourth round. This is not ideal. If Washington wants to gain some future assets to help replenish their cupboard of prospects, getting a first round pick would be a great start.
Of course, trading Carlson has its disadvantages. The most obvious one is replacing him. If the Capitals are trading Carlson, chances are they’re rebuilding, or at the very least retooling. So replacing him immediately wouldn’t be essential. Also, they could trade Marcus Johansson for a replacement for Carlson, as proposed in our latest mock offseason.
The Capitals need to explore every option out there this offseason. If trading Carlson helps them achieve their goals, whether those goals are short-term or long-term, they should do it.