Well, another draft has come and gone, and the Capitals have made a teensy bit of a splash during it. The most exciting part, of course, is when Gary Bettman toddles up on stage between picks and says, “I have a trade to announce.” Then the entire hockey world holds its breath, right up until he says the Blue Jackets and the Panthers have swapped picks or something equally mundane. Then everyone boos him and he pretends not to notice.
The Capitals contributed to this excitement by acquiring Mike Ribeiro from the Dallas Stars (for Cody Eakin and a second round pick), in the hopes that he would fill that vital 2C role. Mike Green and Alex Ovechkin both tweeted a warm welcome in which they misspelled Ribeiro.
Twitter featured in another bit of draft intrigue. With the 16th pick, the Caps selected Canadian right wing Thomas Wilson… but the official twitter account @washcaps tweeted that we had picked Teuvo Teravainen, who ended up getting taken by the Blackhawks two picks later. A shame, because I dearly wanted a Finn around.
In a move that will surprise absolutely no one, we took a Swedish centerman with our first pick, Filip Forsberg, though he says that he will play another year in Sweden. We also loaded up on Americans — three of them are currently playing in the USA U-18 program (who won the U-18 gold medal at the last WJC), and one has moved on from it to play at Notre Dame. Go USA Hockey!
We picked up only one goalie, with our last pick (and he was the last goalie taken in the draft). And at 5’11″, Sergei Kostenko is one of the shortest goalies in the draft. The Goalie Guild made note:
Drafted goalie breakdown by height: Two at 6’5 | Five at 6’4 | Three at 6’3 | Five at 6’2 | Seven at 6’1 | One each at 6’0 and 5’11
Gone are the days of Allan “Tiny Goalie” Bester; now you’ve got to be over the 6-foot mark to get noticed. Still, Kostenko rocked a 2.98 goals-against average and .897 save percentage in 40 games in Russia’s AHL equivalent, and apparently we’ve been watching him for 3 years, which is crazy since even the Goalie Guild didn’t know who he was. That’s the true definition of off the radar!
The final tally:
11. Filip Forsberg, C (Sweden)
16. Thomas Wilson, RW (Canada)
77. Chandler Stephenson, LW (Canada)
100. Thomas Dipauli, C (USA)
107. Austin Wuthrich, RW (USA)
137. Connor Carrick, D (USA)
167. Riley Barber, RW (USA)
195. Christian Djoos, D (Sweden)
197. Jaynen Rissling, D (Canada)
203. Sergei Kostenko, G (Russia… yay! A Russian goalie!)
(Info from NHL.com.)
With 10 total picks, the Caps had a huge draft (that’s as many as 2010 and 2011 combined), but it’s unlikely that we’ll see any of these kids for at least a year. GMGM’s looking to the future, and the gaps in our roster right now will have to be filled either in-house or through trades. Ribeiro is a good start — next we’ll want to shore up our defence (Wides goes UFA and somehow I don’t think Erskine is a good replacement) and solidify our goalie plans. Who knows what we could get for Holtby from a struggling, desperate, goalie-less team?