The Washington Capitals keep talking about getting younger and faster. Yaroslav Alexeyev is someone they should target in the 2017 NHL Draft.
During general manager Brian MacLellan’s end of the season press conference, he was adamant about the Washington Capitals needing to get younger and faster. The best way for them to do this is to restock their farm system via the draft. There’s just one problem – they don’t have a pick until the fourth round.
While this makes it complicated and more difficult to acquire skilled players, it’s certainly not impossible. The Capitals will have to take risks for sure, but they could come out of the 2017 NHL Draft in good hands. One of the players Washington should target in the fourth round is Yaroslav Alexyev.
Height: 5’8 3/4″
Weight: 146 pounds
Junior team: Sherbrooke Phoenix
Position: Left Wing
Birthday: Jan. 17, 1999
Ranking: 114th by Central Scouting
All information is courtesy of Hockey Draft Central.
All stats are via EliteProspects
It’s worth noting his team’s primary goalie had a save percentage of .899. Also, only two players on the team with at least 30 games played had a positive plus-minus rating. So his plus-minus is clearly warped a little bit.
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STRENGTHS: Alexeyev might be one the best pure skaters in the draft. He possess a lot of speed and quickness, flying across the ice. Mike Barrett of Dobber Prospects is a huge fan of his.
"he is very shifty, and always seems to find a path to the net. Alexeyev goes full speed ahead into traffic with the puck on his stick, and is a hungry goal-seeker."
Alexeyev knows how to play small and use his frame (or lack thereof) to his advantage. That’s what you want to see out of smaller players. It’s fine to be undersized as long as you know how to play.
Honestly, there’s not much out there on him. But he stood out on an otherwise unimpressive Sherbrooke team that featured a defenseman as their leading scorer. Offensively, he’s very intelligent, equally adept at scoring and passing.
WEAKNESSES: Again, there isn’t much out there on him. But right away, you can tell defense isn’t his strong suit. Alexeyev also has to fill out his frame. 145 pounds isn’t going to cut it in the NHL. By comparison, Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames is 157 pounds. At the same time, you don’t want to him to gain too much weight because that would diminish his speed, one of his greatest assets. His defense will develop, but it’s hard to fathom him in the NHL without being sheltered.
There isn’t much out on Alexeyev. Typically, there’s not for mid-round prospects from non-playoff teams in the QMJHL. However, everything I’ve seen on him, I like. This is the type of prospect the Capitals have to target. Alexeyev has a ton of upside and a lot of skill. Who knows if it will translate to the NHL. But the Caps should be more than willing to find out, especially if it’s in the fourth round.