Three Players The Capitals Should Target At Pick 17

Mock draft madness with the big event less than 48 hours away
NHL Draft
NHL Draft / John Russell/GettyImages
2 of 4
NHL Draft
Igor Chernyshov / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Igor Chernyshov - LW

As long as I have watched hockey there has been "The Russian factor". The fear that you draft a Russian player and that player won't go to the team he was selected to. Instead he will stay home and play in the KHL and later sign in the NHL to whatever team he wants.

It feels like that rarely happens to be honest. What happens more often is American kids getting drafted, going to college and forcing their way out of their team. That's happened plenty, and it's happened twice in the past few months, Cutter Gauthier and Rutger McGroarty being the latest examples. But the "American factor" doesn't sound as catchy does it?

Whether there is a Russian factor or not the Capitals have not feared drafted Russians in the past. For good reason. They have had the best Russian hockey player ever on their team. Why wouldn't any young guy from the same country want to go play with their hero? If you want more connection for Chernyshov, he plays on Dynamo Moscow, the same team Ovechkin once played for.

Chernyshov is already a fairly big guy. At 18-years old he is 6'2 and weighs around 195lbs. Hulking? No. But that is already NHL ready size. If he were to break into the NHL right now you wouldn't have to worry about him like you would say a 5'9" 165lbs player.

The reason I like Chernyshov and why I think he could be a good pick for Washington at 17 is because it sounds like he has a pretty high floor. The people I have heard talk about him says his potential could be a top six player who could score you 30-35 goals a year adding 70-75 points.

These same people say, if that potential is not reached he could or should still be a really solid third line player who is hard to play against. A third line player who may be able to give you 20ish goals and 50+ points. Someone who could also go up in the lineup when injuries arise.

His scouting report on The Hockey Writers says he is "one of the more NHL ready prospects" available at the draft this year. Again, I encourage you to click the link to get better information on the players.

A bigger power forward kind of player. Someone who sounds like he could be difficult to play against. Add him to the lineup with Tom Wilson, in the future with Ryan Leonard. You could be dealing with a pain in the rear on every line or maybe one really difficult line to play against. All with the ability to score.

If there is one player that I have read about that the Capitals could pick at 17 I think this is the guy. Everyone else...well, we'll get to it now.