Washington Capitals: 2019 predictions for Brett Leason

Brett Leason, Washington Capitals (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
Brett Leason, Washington Capitals (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

The Washington Capitals have begun the process of signing their 2019 draft picks and inked their second rounder Brett Leason to a three-year, entry-level deal.

Brett Leason was selected by the Washington Capitals at 56th overall and signed him to his entry-level deal on Thursday, just one day after signing his WHL teammate third rounder Aliaksei Protas. Leason’s contract, per the Capitals press release, will carry an average annual salary of $750,0000 and will feature a signing bonus of $92,500 each year.

At 20 years old and a length of 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, Leason is considered a big forward beyond his years and when the Capitals picked him, many saw it as a steal. He may be in an NHL game sooner than Washington’s first rounder Connor McMichael but that is only a testament to how deep the center position is.

Leason will most likely be in the AHL in Hershey and Bears fans will welcome a new right wing talent with open arms. With Riley Barber’s departure, the top line spot should be up for grabs or at least come down to Leason and Steve Whitney.

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Last season, Leason led the Price Albert Raiders (WHL) in points with 89 (36 goals, 53 assists) in 55 games and was instrumental in their playoff success en route to the Ed Chynoweth Cup as the WHL champions. In that playoff run, Leason recorded 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists).

Leason has registered 140 points (60 goals, 80 assists) in 190 career WHL games. Leason began his WHL career with the Tri-City Americans before a trade in 2017 to Prince Albert.

Unlike his teammate Aliaksei Protas, don’t expect to see Leason in Prince Albert this upcoming season. Don’t rule out a future NHL connection between the duo either. Protas and Leason connected eight times in the run to the Ed Chynoweth Cup and that connection could be seen one spring in Hershey or Washington.

Leason will likely be on the top line in Hershey looking to bolster a Bears forward attack. There also isn’t any telling upon who will be backups on the opening night roster but depending on injuries, Leason could be the first among the Capitals 2019 NHL Draft class to set foot in an NHL game.

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I predict Leason to have a monster first season in Hershey scoring 40 goals and notching 60 assists. Leason will share the top line with either Philippe Maillet or Garrett Pilon, whomever wins that competition with Shane Gersich on the left side. Now that is a young, speedy top line.