The Washington Capitals had another successful draft and look to be building on the future both now in the quick retool and in the future for the post Alex Ovechkin era.
They made six selections, keeping their original five and making a trade in the final round.
First they selected Ryan Leonard which was the right call among players available when the Caps were on the clock at eighth. It was their highest pick since 2007 and they used it to select the right winger.
He’s a gamer at six foot and 190 pounds. He’s got the power and the drive plus the work ethic to give 100 percent effort. He’s the next Captain America as he was a star on the USA Development Program.
He had 51 goals and 43 assists for 94 points in 57 games playing primarily on a line with Will Smith and Gabriel Perreault. He’s also valuable on he penalty kill. This past season he was named alternate captain for the club.
Leonard became a household name when he scored the overtime winner to win the Gold medal for Team USA over Team Sweden in the 2023 U18 World Championships.
With their 40th pick in the second round the Caps selected Andrew Cristall. He had a stellar season with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets. He had 39 goals and 56 assists for 95 points in 54 games and was ranked tied for sixth in the WHL in scoring.
In the fourth round at 104th overall they selected Patrick Thomas. He recorded 56 points in 66 games with 17 goals and 39 assists.
In the fifth round at 136th overall the Caps selected Cameron Allen. He ranked 12th among North American defenseman by NHL Central Scouting and is considered by many as a steal.
In the seventh round the Caps took Brett Hyland with their 200th pick. He’s a forward. They then traded their 2025 seventh rounder to the San Jose Sharks for their 206th pick this year and took Antoine Keller. He’s a goaltender.
Grade A: Good draft by GMBM. As much as I was all in on the Michkov wagon I was nervous when I read about his attitude issues. Looks like we won’t have to worry about that with any of these kids.