Saturday, June 23, 2012


The Washington Capitals finished their seven rounds of pick heaven picking up two centermen, a center and left winger, 3 wingers, 3 defensemen and one goaltender. Among the picks are three Canadians, two Swedish players, a Russian goaltender and 4 from the US National Team Development Program. They picked up a prospect that was slated to go around 7th in many mock drafts and picked up a little muscle along the way. In all, it was a quiet but good draft for the Capitals.

In the first round the Caps picked 11th overall and they choose Filip Forsberg. A natural play maker, Forsberg was slated to go much earlier in many mock drafts, so consider him a steal for the Caps. They also picked some muscle in Thomas Wilson, a kid that can play and throw the punches.

"You can find guys that are tough, but if they can't play, what good are they?" said General Manager George McPhee of their 16th overall pick in Wilson. "This kid seems to be that rare combination these days of a big kid who's tough that can play. Worst-case scenario he can play on the fourth line. But we think if he develops properly he can be a third-line, second-line player."

The Caps did not have a pick in the second round after trading it to Dallas for Mike Ribeiro. The gave up a prospect in Cody Eakin for a skilled center man to fill out the middle for the Capitals.

"It seemed like when I was watching the playoffs we had some big, gritty forwards and I just wanted to get another skill guy in the middle of it," McPhee said of acquiring Ribeiro. "I think him makes us immediately better."

In the third round the Caps picked up Chandler Stephenson (77th overall). A left winger and a centerman, Stephenson played for the Regina Pats last season and was able to accumulate 42 points in 55 games despite missing 14 games with injury. He was named the Pats' 'Most Sportsmanlike Player'.

Thomas Di Pauli (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
The next four picks for the Capitals featured all American players, all from the U-18 US National Team Development Program. The Caps had two picks in round four and took Thomas Di Pauli (100 overall) and Austin Wuthrich (107 overall) who played last year with Notre Dame. The fifth and sixth rounds, the Caps only had one pick which they took Conner Carrick (137 overall) and Riley Barber (167 overall) respectfully.

Barber's father, Don, was selected 120th overall in 1983 by Edmonton and went on to play in the NHL for Minnesota, Winnipeg, Quebec and San Jose between 1988-89 and 1991-92.

Finally, the Caps had three picks in the seventh round.  They chose Christian Djoos (195 overall), Jaynen Rissling (197 overall) and goaltender Sergei Kostenko (203 overall). Rissling comes from an NHL family. Per his Draft card:
His uncle, Gary, signed with Washington in 1978 before being traded to Pittsburgh in 1981 -- he played 221 games in the NHL, amassing 1,008 penalty minutes. His dad, Kelly, played in the Western Hockey League (Portland, Lethbridge) and International Hockey League.
Ross Mahoney, Caps' director of amateur scouting answered why the Capitals took so many players in the middle rounds from the USNTDP per
Ross Mahoney, the Caps' director of amateur scouting, had a simple reason for why the club targeted so many players from the USNTDP.
"They're winners," he said. "They won again [World Under-18 Championship gold medal]. Talking to the people in that program, they said it was the best group of kids they've ever had, and they've had some pretty good young men come through that program. … We think they're all good athletes and good players and they're winners."
For those drafted, the next step is developmental camp in August. The Caps will get a close look at those they drafted as well as see other prospect's progress over a year's time.

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