The Washington Capitals have the NHL Draft coming up.
When one talks about the Washington Capitals the common thing they say is that they’re in win now mode. That means many of their draft picks might wait a while for NHL action. Do you think they’ll let Alex Ovechkin get away in free agency next year?
Even so, there are things they need in the NHL Draft that’s coming up on October 6th to help the future of the team and help strengthen the current prospect pool. Many of the prospects are with the Hershey Bears while others are still waiting for their chance like Connor McMichael.
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Like the varsity squad, the Caps look to strengthen their defense in their prospect pool as well. A few names come to mind. One player they could draft in the first round is William Wallinder. He’s a strong, long reaching defenseman with size and skating ability. He’s good enough to contribute 40-50 points per season in the NHL when he reaches his prime and has a good enough shot to man the second power play unit.
Another player they could draft is Justin Barron. He’s a polarizing player that has a good skating ability. He’s a good two way player. He delivers the physicality that the Caps are looking for in a defenseman.
The Caps will likely draft a forward in the first round after taking Connor McMichael last year. One player they could go for is his London Knights teammate Antonio Stranges. With the Knights he scored 19 goals and added 21 assists for 40 points in 60 games played this past season.
Another player they could draft is John-Jason Peterka. This past season for EHC Muchen he scored seven goals and four assists for 11 points. He’s an offensive winger with great speed and quickness.
1. Improve their prospects
Bottom line for the Washington Capitals in their approach to the 2020 NHL Draft: they need to improve their prospects. Recently Corey Pronman of The Athletic (subscription required) ranked the Capitals as #31 in organizational rankings. That’s dead last.
Part of the reasoning of Pronman’s ranking is the thin draft classes of 2016 and 2017, the latter of which not selecting until 120th. The pipeline will be relied on with Connor McMichael, Martin Fehervary, and Aliaksei Protas for the foreseeable future.
It will be interesting to see if the Caps can have a good draft like they did the last two years. It will be vital that they do since Alex Ovechkin is on the backend of his career.