The Washington Capitals began the draft with six selections and ended the draft with seven total after trading Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils. Let’s meet the newest Caps.
First they selected left wing Ivan Miroshnichenko with the 20th overall selection in the first round. With Omsk Krylia int he Supreme Hockey League of Russia 2 he recorded 16 points with 10 goals and six assists in 31 games. He also captained Russia to the gold medal at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup recording nine points in five games with four goals and five assists.
The Caps traded Vanecek to the Devils and their 46th pick that was originally from the Winnipeg Jets in the Brenden Dillon trade last summer. The Caps moved up in the second round as the Devils sent them their 37th and 70th overall picks.
The Caps then used that 37th pick in Round 2 to select defenseman Ryan Chesley. He is six foot and 201 pounds and he recorded 29 points with 12 goals and 17 assists in 59 games with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Under 18 team in 2021-22. He led the team’s defensemen in goals and ranked third in points among defensemen.
Chesley also appeared in 26 games with the USNTDP Juniors recording 15 points with five goals and 10 assists. The St. Paul, Minnesota native also served as an alternate captain for the U.S. at the 2022 IIHF World U18 Championships, helping the Americans earn the silver medal. He finished the tournament with five points in six games with two goals and three assists and a tournament high +13 plus minus rating.
The Caps then took Alexander Suzdalev at 70th overall. He led HV71’s junior team in scoring with 51 points in 45 games with 15 goals and 36 assists. He also appeared in four games with HV71’s U18 team, recording eight points with three goals and five assists, and in five games with HV71 of Hockey Allsvenskan (Sweden 2). He won a gold medal with Team Sweden at the 2022 IIHF World U18 Championships, appearing in six games.
The Caps used their 85th pick to take Ludwig Persson. Like Suzdalev he is also a left wing. He recorded 61 points in 41 games with 25 goals and 36 assists with Frolunda’s junior team, he led the squad in scoring. He also appeared in 10 games with Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).
A native of Gothenburg, Sweden, he recorded one goal in three games for Sweden’s U20 team this season and five points in three games for the U19 team with four goals and one assist.
Jake Karabela was the first center they took at 149th overall. He recorded 45 points in 68 games with 12 goals and 33 assists with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), ranking third on the team in assists, fourth in points, and tied for third in plus minus with a +14. The Guelph, Ontario native also added four points in five playoff games with two goals and two assists.
Ryan Hofer was taken at 181st overall. He’s another center. He ranked sixth on the Everett Silvertips (WHL) in points, and second in penalty minutes (84) during the regular season and ranked tied for first on the team in playoff scoring with 10 points in six games with six goals and four assists. In 89 career WHL games, Hofer has recorded 67 points with 31 goals and 36 assists.
The Caps final draft pick came 213th selecting defenseman David Gucciardi. He had 11 points with five goals and six assists in his freshman season at Michigan State, appearing in 36 games. The Toronto, Ontario native led Spartan freshmen in goals and ranked fifth on the team in blocked shots with 44. Prior to Michigan State, Gucciardi played two seasons in the United States Hockey League (USHL), recording 33 points in 68 games with 10 goals and 23 assists.