Breaking down why the Washington Capitals must draft Michael Hage

Here's why the Capitals should go for another center
Michael Hage
Michael Hage / Michael Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages

We are just two days away from the 2024 NHL Draft if you're reading this on Wednesday June 26. An area of need for the Washington Capitals was always younger players with speed. So in this draft profile we'll take a look at Michael Hage.

Listed at six foot one and 188 pounds, he's a center for Chicago of the USHL. For more about him here's what Adam Kimelman of in their latest mock draft:

""Hage plays with a physical edge and impressed with his ability to take over games late in the season. The 18-year-old was fourth in the United States Hockey League with 75 points (33 goals, 42 assists) in 54 games, including 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in his final 14. Hage would be the best player available at this spot and fill a ned for centers in the prospect pipeline. He'll continue his development a the University of Michigan in the fall.""

Adam Kimelman/

In the same mock draft, Mike G. Morreale went with Stian Solberg writing the following:

""Solberg had a strong second half to his season and finished with 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 42 regular season games and nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 17 playoff games in the top men's league in Norway. He is expected to play for Farjestad in the Swedish Hockey League next season.""

Mike G. Morreale/

Those moves could help speed the rebuild indeed. But last night there was a report from The Athletic's Scott Wheeler that Washington is expected to target a defenseman in this year's draft. Wheeler said

""There's a belief among those I've talked to that they're going to target a D this year.""

Scott Wheeler/The Athletic

That could mean more "if's" heading into this upcoming season. And there already are plenty of "ifs" ahead of the upcoming NHL Draft. If you don't have a chance to read the article, Wheeler does make a good point in that the Caps used six of their last eight first round picks on forwards and haven't taken a defenseman in round one since 2018 when the team drafted Alex Alexeyev.

Back to Hage, here's a snippet of what they said in their pre draft guid on Elite Prospects:

""Hage is a dynamic rush attacker, combining inside drives, flashy dekes, and give-and-go playmaking. A crossover burst gets defenders' feet moving, then he looks for vulnerabilities. He fakes wide, cuts in, and accelerates to the net." "

Elite Prospects 2024 NHL Draft Guide

The NHL Draft will take place on Friday June 28 at The Sphere in Las Vegas for the first round. Rounds 2-7 will occur the next day.