In the sixth round with the 181st pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, the Washington Capitals selected center Ryan Hofer. He was the second straight center they selected and the final forward they took in the draft as they selected David Gucciardi in the seventh round (more on him later).
Hofer is 20 years old and is a big dude listed as six foot three and 181 pounds. Last season with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL he recorded 25 goals and 33 assists for 58 points in 67 games. He also had 10 points in six playoff games with six goals and four assists.
The previous season was his first season in the WHL where he appeared in 22 games and had six goals and three assists for nine points. He also spent time in the MJHL with the Portage Terriers where he had five assists in eight games.
In the previous years he played in the Pursuit of Excellence Prep of the CCHL U18 where he had 26 goals and 25 assists for 51 points. He also played in the NAPHL 18U for three games recording six points with four goals and two assists.
He even knows how to drop the gloves:
Hofer is the oldest player the Caps took in this year’s draft as he turned 20 years old just two months ago. His biggest strength is his big size and physicality. He can fight and he can score and most importantly he knows how to pass the puck.
This was a forward heavy draft and the Caps ended up with seven picks this year instead of six thanks to trading away Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils. That’s what helped them get an extra pick.
This was definitely the highlight of the draft and something the Caps needed to do. They had to make that goaltending decision sooner rather than later and they had a successful draft stocking up forwards.