Washington Capitals Draft: Breaking down strengths of Haakon Hanelt

NHL Draft, Washington Capitals (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NHL Draft, Washington Capitals (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

With their fourth draft pick of the day, the Washington Capitals finally drafted a forward as they selected Haakon Hanelt in the fifth round at 151st overall. He is a center from Germany who could someday be a bottom six forward for the Caps several years down the road.

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With Eisbaren Berlin last season he had a goal in 22 games. Hanelt turned 18 last month and played with and against men for the Berlin Polar Bears in the DEL. He’s got a left handed shot and is six foot tall weighing 194 pounds.

Hanelt has a hard shot and is a good playmaking center. He had some tough competition but perhaps could benefit from a challenge of playing across the pond in the U.S. He represented Germany’s U18 team as well last season skating in two games.

During the previous season he spent time with RB Hockey Academie for the DHL Cup. In 26 games he had 17 points with nine goals and eight assists. In six games in the DHL Super Cup he added five points with three goals and two assists.

Hanelt also represented Germany internationally in the U17 and U18 Junior tournaments. He had four points in eight games with U17 with three goals and one assists. With the U18 team he added six points in five games with two goals and four assists.

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The Caps next draft pick comes in the sixth round at 176th overall. They will also have another sixth rounder to finish out the draft at 183rd overall. So far the Caps have drafted three defensemen and a forward. It is unknown what they’re approach will be to close out the draft but I could see them taking another forward or goaltender coming up. Of course, they’ll go with whoever the best available player is. That’s always the strategy.