The Stanley Cup Finals could end as early as tomorrow night with the Vegas Golden Knights up three games to one over the Florida Panthers unless the Panthers have another comeback in them.
Once the Cup is awarded the focus will shift towards the NHL Draft. When is it and where will the Washington Capitals pick?
The NHL Draft will begin on Wednesday June 28 with Round 1 at Bridgestone Arena at 7 p.m. on ESPN. The draft will continue with Rounds 2-7 on Thursday June 29 beginning at 11 a.m. on NHL Network.
The Capitals will have picks in Rounds 1,2,4,5, and 7 beginning with the eighth overall pick in Round 1. It’ll be the first time the Capitals have selected in the top 10 of the NHL Draft since 2007 when they took defenseman Karl Alzner.
Recently NBC Sports Washington examined top five picks the Caps could take at eighth from both Europe and North America.
We’ll start with North America where writer Ethan Cadeaux notes that William Smith, Oliver Moore, Ryan Leonard, Nate Danielson, Matthew Wood, and Gabe Perrault could be available.
All the players Cadeaux mentions are forwards which makes the most logical sense. The Caps are good on defense. They are good on goaltending as long as the defense is good. They need young forwards.
Whether it’s building through the draft, trades or free agency, the Caps goal is to get younger and improve so they can return to the playoffs.
Out of these names I’d go with William Smith. He’s a center on the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. He just turned 18 in March and is committed to play hockey at Boston College.
I don’t really see a player the Caps taking making the opening night roster next season. But I could be wrong. Who knows what happens between now and the start of training camp and what kind of moves General Manager Brian MacLellan has up his sleeve.