Washington Capitals: Making the case against drafting Yaroslav Askarov

NHL Draft, Washington Capitals (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
NHL Draft, Washington Capitals (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

There’s no need for the Washington Capitals to draft a goalie.

The Washington Capitals have a big offseason ahead that they are in the midst of. They got to find a new coach, figure out free agency, and of course the draft. One player that they shouldn’t select is Yaroslav Askarov.

This isn’t a knock on Askarov in any means. He’s a great prospect. He currently plays for SKA Saint Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He made his KHL debut this past season as a 17 year old, winning his first game and allowing two goals.

The big storyline of the offseason is the potential departure of Braden Holtby but the Capitals already have a Russian goaltender looking to step in that role. Ilya Samsonov had a solid rookie season and he’s expected to be back and ready for training camp after his season ended due to injury.

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But the Caps have more than that too. They’ll be looking to potentially add a veteran netminder to help mentor Samsonov. Some players that they could potentially add we already talked about. One such name is Cam Talbot who I think they should go for.

The Caps also have a lot of goalies in the pipeline. In particular they have Vitek Vanecek and Pheonix Copley in house. Vanecek was the backup in the playoffs since Samsonov couldn’t travel with the team. With the Bears, Vanecek went 19-10-1 with a 2.26 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. Copley shared the netminding duties throughout the season. He went 17-8-6 with a 2.47 goals against average and a .905 save percentage.

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Overall, I don’t think they’ll draft a goalie in the first round and I would be shocked if they did. They’ll likely take a forward since the core of the team is getting older and we won’t have Alex Ovechkin on the ice forever. That’s the sad truth. The window is closing and the time is now if they want to win another Cup.