Projecting the 2023 Capitals starters after 2023 NHL Draft and Development Camp

Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals (photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals (photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Now that the NHL Draft and Washington Capitals Development Camp are in the books, we can start the early process of penciling in who will be in the opening night lineup.

Keep in mind we’re still very early in the offseason. The Caps could make another move or two. But based on what they currently have as of this writing on July, we can sort of get a general idea of what the lineup could look like.

The Caps officially take the ice for the new season on Friday Oct. 13 at Capital One Arena against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

We’re going to do things a little differently. We’ll start with what we know and work our way to the forward lines.

First, the goalies:

Darcy Kuemper

Charlie Lindgren

That’s a given. Last year the Caps were searching for not one but two goaltenders. They both did OK last year but struggled like the rest of the team. But they should do much better their second year if the rest of Spencer Carbery’s lineup is tweaked properly.

Next, the defense:

Martin Fehervary – John Carlson

Rasmus Sandin – Nick Jensen

Joel Edmundson – Trevor van Riemsdyk

So the defense is pretty much set too. That third pairing could be a tossup between the newcomer Joel Edmundson and recently extended Alex Alexeyev. It’ll be an interesting battle this upcoming camp.

Finally, the forwards. And this is where things get tricky:

Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Tom Wilson

Max Pacioretty – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie

Sonny Milano – Dylan Strome – Anthony Mantha

Aliaksei Protas – Nic Dowd – Nicolas Aube Kubel

The top six looks pretty much set unless Nicklas Backstrom decides to hang it up but I doubt it. The third line is questionable as Anthony Mantha’s name has come up among trade talks.

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But then again this is just our first installment of what we think the lineup will look like. We’ll see what else the Caps do.