Washington Capitals select a steal in Brett Leason with their second pick

Brett Leason, Washington Capitals (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Brett Leason, Washington Capitals (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

After drafting center Connor McMichael with their first pick, the Washington Capitals drafted another forward in Brett Leason with their second pick.

Brett Leason is 20-years old and played right wing for the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League (WHL) from Canada. Taken in the second round at 56th overall, he’s a great story in itself considering he wasn’t drafted the last two years despite being draft eligible at the age of 18.

In 2016-17, Leason split time with the Tri-City Americans in the WHL and the Calgary Canucks in the Alberta Junior Hockey League  (AJHL) and put up 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) in 68 games with the former while appearing in just one game with the latter.

The next season he returned to Tri-City, struggling with a goal in 12 games before a trade to the Price Albert Raiders in exchange for Rylan Parentau in 2017.

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Since this midseason trade, the 6′ 1”, 201 pound right winger put up a respectable 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) in 54 games. He was even better this past season, showing the NHL that maybe they should give him a chance, with a monster team-leading 89 points (36 goals, 53 assists) in 55 games.

The scouting report from McKeen’s Hockey, via Elite Prospects, describes Leason by saying he “has an NHL caliber wrist shot, with a super quick release. He positions himself very well on the puck and has plus hand-eye coordination.”

This past season clearly was a chip on his shoulder type of year after the previous two years of being undrafted. Speaking on this subject, Leason told NBC, “I’ve surpassed my own expectations. I was nowhere near thinking about this or realizing it could happen. (Not getting drafted before) motivated me a lot. It’s a dream of mine to get drafted and I realize this is my last chance.”

The highlight reel shows Leason having great puck handling like an Evgeny Kuznetsov. Also like Kuzy, and even T.J. Oshie, he’s a magician when it comes to the backhanded breakaways.

The Prince Albert Raiders had a successful regular sason with a 54-10-2-2 mark (112 points), first in the WHL’s East Division, Conference and league overall. They bested the second-place Eastern Saskatoon Blades by 14 points and the best Western Conference team Vancouver Giants by 11.

The Raiders carried that success all the way through the WHL playoffs. First they swept the Red Deer Rebels in four games, then bested the Blades in six games (4-2) the next round.

The third round saw the Raiders defeat the Edmonton Oil Kings in six before slaying the Giants in the championship in a thrilling seven-game finals to win the Ed Chynoweth Cup. Leason led the Raiders and was second in the WHL in playoff scoring with 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists).

Next. Capitals select next-gen center in Connor McMichael. dark

That striving for excellence and the experience of winning it all will help this Capitals winning tradition moving forward well into the future. Welcome to D.C. Leason.