Washington Capitals Draft: Breaking down strengths of Jake Karabela

With the 149th pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, the Washington Capitals used their fifth round pick to select forward Jake Karabela. He is a center(!) listed as five foot 11 and 172 pounds. Definitely has speed and athleticism.

He spent last season with the Guleph Storm of the OHL where he recorded 12 goals and 33 assists for 45 points in 68 games. In the playoffs he had four points with two goals and two assists.

The Caps also selected Ryan Hofer with their 181st pick and David Gucciardi at 213th. More on those later.

Adam Kierszenblat of The Hockey Writers said this about Karabela in his draft profile:

Karabela’s strengths are in the offensive zone. He has the ability to pick out teammates with strong passes while getting into scoring opportunities himself. His play along the boards is also something to watch, as he is difficult to knock off the puck and can make an outlet pass even when checked. Once he gets the outlet pass away, he can use his speed to catch up to the play and become a target for a scoring chance in the offensive zone.

Karabela also finished second on the storm with a plus minus of plus 14. His play has been consistent throughout the year which is something the Caps are looking for when it came to drafting a center.

In March at the Top Prospects game, Karabela netted the game winning goal. He also had an assist on Team White’s first goal of the game. On his game winner, he showed speed driving to the net and creating a breakaway opportunity. He buried the puck going from forehand to backhand.

In addition to center, he also played left wing. He was the Storm’s third line center in the playoffs but in Game 5 he switched to first line right winger.