The Capitals addressed their immediate concerns at the center position before the Draft in the evening. The Caps traded Cody Eakin and a second round pick (54th overall) to the Dallas Stars for Mike Ribeiro.
The Caps struggled with a second line center last year behind Nick Backstrom. They tried to fill the hole with Marcus Johannson, Mathieu Perreault, and even Brooks Laich at times. But the Caps finally land some proven talent in Ribeiro who has great speed and a quick release. He had 63 points in last year's campaign (18g, 45a). He has some playoff experience under his belt with the long playoff run in 2008 where he has 17 points in 18 games with the Stars.
The Caps give up prospect Cody Eakin. Eakin spent most of his time in Hershey, but was called up a few times. In my opinion, he is still a year or two away from being a mainstay in the NHL. His speed is deadly, but he needs more experience to use it effectively at the top level. When he finds his game, Eakin will be a solid offensive producer at the NHL level.
George McPhee's trade for Ribeiro also cost them a second round pick in this year's draft. Ribeiro has one year remaining in his 5 year contract and will count for $5 million to the salary cap for the Capitals.
This might quiet some talk of the Capitals trying to land Rick Nash. The Capitals will still have to fill a hole left by Alex Semin, as well as some grit in the loss of Mike Knuble. Jordan Staal was also rumored to be courted by the Capitals after he refused a 10 year contract with Pittsburgh, but he was traded to Carolina and will play with brother Eric.