Washington Capitals Draft: Grading the 2021 NHL Draft class

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

The 2021 NHL Draft is in the books and the Washington Capitals made six selections. We will grade each player in separate posts but in this one we will grade the entire draft class as a whole. So far we’ve graded the selections of Vincent Iorio and Dru Krebs.

Four of Washington’s six picks were defensemen. Two were righties while the other two were lefties. In addition, the Caps also added a center and a goalie. The unfortunate part is the Caps farm system isn’t the best but that’s the price you pay for going after the Stanley Cup year after year.

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Capitals Assistant General Manager Ross Mahoney talked about the Caps battle plan to the media via Mike Vogel of WashingtonCaps.com:

"“I thought maybe where we were picking, there might be defensemen that were going to be available. We’ve always said that we’ll take the best player, but I think that it was good too to get some defensemen, and the first couple are right-handed defensemen, which I think also helps to fill a bit of a void that we have, as far as young defensemen.”"

The Caps didn’t select any defensemen in the 2020 draft so that was their strategy this year. The Caps entered the draft with only five picks but traded down with the New York Rangers in the third round and gained an additional pick in the sixth round at 176th overall.

The Caps chose right handed defenseman Vincent Iorio from the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings with their 55th pick and the reason why they selected him was because the team was high on his offensive upside. He fell into the Caps lap in the second round.

The Caps followed that pick up with another blueliner with a right handed shot in Brent Johnson. Nope, not the Brent Johnson who was a goalie here a long time ago. They are sadly in no relation. Johnson is from the Sioux Falls Stamped of the USHL. Joaquim Lemay was taken at 119th overall and Dru Krebs would round out the defensemen at 176th overall. Both players have left handed shots.

The Caps did add a forward at 151st overall in center Haakon Hanelt and rounded out their draft selections with goaltender Chase Clark.

More. Washington Capitals Draft Grades: Vincent Iorio. light

Grade B+: The Caps didn’t have a first rounder in this year’s draft but made the most out of their limited selections and even gained an extra draft pick through a trade. Overall I thought it was a good draft as the team is now goodly stocked on defensemen both now and in the future.