All the Trades and Acquisitions from Draft Weekend: Will The Capitals Continue Making Moves During Free Agency?

The Capitals were quite productive over the weekend with draft picks and new acquisitions
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Washington Capitals were reported to be “very busy” this off-season in terms of acquiring and moving players.

Just coming out of draft weekend, I think “busy” is an understatement. 

Draft Picks

The NHL Draft was this past weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Capitals draft choices for each of the rounds looked like this: 

First round: Terik Parascak 

Parascak is an 18-year-old, 6’0”, 179-pound Canadian right wing from the Prince George Cougars (WHL).

Second round: Leon Muggli & Cole Hutson 

Hutson is an 18-year-old, 5’10”, 165-pound American defenseman from Boston University (NCAA). Muggli is 17-year-old, 6’1”, 176-pound Swiss defenseman from EV Zug (Swiss National League). 

Third round: Eriks Mateiko & Ilya Protas

Mateiko is an 18-year-old, 6’5”, 216-pound Latvian winger (R/L) from the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). Ilya Protas is the younger brother of current Capital Aliaksei Protas. Ilya is a 17-year-old, 6’4”, 196-pound Belorussian left winger from the Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL). 

Fourth round: Nicholas Kempf

Kempf is an 18-year-old, 6’2”, 190-pound American goalie from the US National Team Development Program. 

Sixth round: Petr Sikora

Sikora is an 18-year-old, 6’0”, 174-pound Czech center from the HC Ocelari Trinec (Czech Extraliga). 

Seventh round: Miroslav Satan (no, it’s not a typo)

Satan is an 18-year-old, 6’7”, 190-pound Slovak center from Team Slovakia (U18). His father, Miroslav Satan Sr., played for various teams in the NHL including the Penguins, Sabres, Oilers, Bruins, and Islanders. 

(For the hockey beginners, the Capitals had multiple picks in some rounds and zero picks in other rounds due to trades.)  

Extra Acquisitions

In addition to the Capitals drafts, they also traded away Beck Malenstyn to the Buffalo Sabres (for a draft pick) and acquired goalie Logan Thompson from the Vegas Golden Knights (for a draft pick). Thompson will likely serve as back-up to stand out goaltender Charlie Lindgren this year. In addition, the Caps extended a qualifying offer to Connor McMichael. 

In the last week, the Capitals also acquired Pierre-Luc Dubois (for goalie Darcy Kuemper) and Andrew Mangiapane (for a draft pick). 

Is There Anything Left To Do In Free Agency?

The Capitals have already made a lot of changes to the lineup and free agency doesn’t even start until July 1 which is right now.

The Caps seem to have the goaltending situation squared away now, so I wouldn’t expect anything additional there. However, the Capitals may still hope to add some additional offense and perhaps a big defenseman. 

With offensive options like Jake Guentzel and other expensive, top 6 forwards dwindling fast, the Capitals may look to give their Hershey Bears players a shot at the big leagues. During the season, the Capitals and head coach Spencer Carbery mentioned their desire to give Bears players like Alex Limoges and Ethen Frank a spot in the lineup to see their potential. Hendrix Lapierre, AHL playoff MVP, may also see a larger role with the Capitals this year. All three players were big names in the Calder Cup playoffs, scoring a combined 24 playoff goals.

On defense, GM Brian MacLellan unexpectedly announced he wanted to shake things up by possibly acquiring another big piece on the backend. My guess is that defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk might get moved in place of a younger defenseman. Jensen has been a strong piece on defense, averaging 19:37 TOI, making it less likely he’d be traded over TVR. 

Regardless of the various changes the Capitals could continue to make over the off-season, their 2024-25 roster needs to have a well-rounded mix of veterans, fresh new players, and young but experienced players. We saw what happened when the Caps leaned too heavily on inexperienced players in their young goalie tandem of Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek. We also saw what happened when the Caps relied solely on veteran players under head coach Peter Laviolette in the 2022-23 season and missed the playoffs for the first time in 9 years. Having a mix of different playing experiences will help the Capitals be strong Stanley Cup contenders in upcoming years.