The Washington Capitals draft was a week ago where they added six players to the prospect pool. In this next report card, we will grade the draft selection of Haakon Hanelt. In case you missed it, we also graded the selections of Vincent Iorio, Brent Johnson, Joaquim Lemay, and Dru Krebs.
Haakon Hanelt was the first and only forward the Caps selected in this year’s draft. The Caps drafted him in the fifth round at 151st overall. Hanelt is from Germany and plays center listed at six foot and 194 pounds. He played in 22 games last season as a 17 year old in the DEL which is Germany’s highest league.
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Hanelt’s strengths are his skating, hockey sense and stick handling. He compares his game to established center Nicklas Backstrom. Hanelt could one day see himself on the third or fourth line with the top two lines occupied by Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre centering those.Hanelt turned 18 just under two months ago.
For Eisbaren Berlin last season, Hanelt had a goal but keep in mind he was also competing in Germany’s highest ranking league. The season prior, he recorded 17 points in 26 games with RB Hockey Akademie with nine goals and eight assists. In the DHL Super Cup he added five points in six games with three goals and two assists.
Hanelt was ranked 17th among International centers and 36th among international forwards by NHL Central Scouting. After loading up on defensemen with their earlier picks, it was important for the Caps to add a forward and they should be well stocked at center for the years to come.
Grade A: This kid only had a goal in 22 games but the fact he was playing with the big boys in his home country is a good sign that he will someday be ready for NHL action.