2002-03 Washington Capitals Prospects 11-15

By Seth Keggins

2002-03 Washington Capitals Prospect Ranking’s 11-15

11. Sebastian Charpentier, G

Seth’s Comments: This kid finally got his due this season. After battling many years of a chronic arthritis in his ankles, treatments allowed him to play this season. And did he ever play, putting up outstanding numbers behind an iffy Portland defense.

Rick’s Comments: Had the best season of his career last year, but has been plagued by inconsistency in the past. Are his injury problems behind him? Could end up either backing up Kolzig or Ouellet next year, depending on how he performs at camp.

Josh’s Comments: Charpentier has become one of the best goaltenders in the AHL and he played very well in the final two games of the Capitals’ season. He is the most likely backup to Olaf Kolzig in 2002-2003.

12. Owen Fussey, RW

Seth’s Comments: A very hard worker, Owen put up playmaker’s number last season for the Calgary Hitmen. He should only continue to improve next season, as he Owen is likely promoted to the top line.

Rick’s Comments: One of my personal favorites since I was watching Kris Beech, it took Owen a few games to find his game last year but when he did he came through and showed a large step in his improvement by the end of the year. He should be a leader on the Hitmen next year, but he’s still at least two or three years away from Washington.

Josh’s Comments: Fussey had a great season in Calgary of the WHL and is a much improved prospect from when the Capitals chose him in the 2001 draft. It is difficult to project where he may fit into the Caps plans right now, but he is a good two-way forward and should challenge for a spot on the Portland Pirates’ roster in 2003-2004. If his size and strength improve over the [next] offseason, he may surprise the management in training camp, putting himself in competition with the other Capitals’ forward prospects for a 4th line position in Washington.

13. Boyd Gordon, RW

Seth’ Comments: Gordon was a late first round surprise for the Capitals. Many players were still left by the end of this round (e.g. Hudler, Paille, Babchuk, and Eager…just to list a few). But, GM George McPhee and his scouts had high confidence in Boyd.

Rick’s Comments: The Caps selected him in the first round despite a lack of hype, in a move that seemed to be a stretch to many fans. I tend to applaud moves that show more faith in one’s scouting staff than in a prospect’s hype. Boyd has improved steadily over the last three years and he should be a top player on a very strong Red Deer team next year.

Josh’s Comments: Gordon is an extremely hard worker. It is not as big a question to whether he will make it to the NHL, but how well he will perform. His work ethic and willingness to play in the defensive end will earn him a spot on an NHL roster someday. Many people compare him to Steve Konowalchuk. If Gordon can develop as Kono did, he will turn into a very smart first round selection for Washington.

14. Graham Mink, RW

Seth’s Comments: Mink was under the radar scope during his junior year at the University of Vermont. But, he had to make a name for himself after deciding to leave the school following a team suspension. Mink surprised many from the start with his scoring ability, and his quick skates. Mink may even fight for a Caps starting position this coming season.

Rick’s Comments: In my opinion, Graham is basically in the same boat with Mike Farrell, Chris Corrinet, and Roman Tvrdon. He has shown skill and played well at the AHL level, but before he gets promoted the Caps are going to want him to show he can dominate the AHL offensively.

Josh’s Comments: Mink’s strange journey from the University of Vermont to the Portland Pirates may end in Washington in the upcoming training camp. In 56 games with the Pirates, the 6-3, 217 pound forward scored 34 points and boasted a #23 defensive rating. Mink very quickly developed into a potent two-way forward and should challenge for a spot on the Caps’ 3rd or 4th line in 2002-2003.

15. Stephen Peat, RW

Seth’s Comments: Stephen Peat is one tough customer, and proved last season that he is afraid of no one. Peat will likely battle his way onto the 4th line, and may see more ice time than what was received last season. It will be interesting what new coach “Butch” Cassidy will do with Stephen’s ice time.

Rick’s Comments: Stephen should play in the NHL next year as an enforcer, and hopefully he will get some more ice time under the new coach to develop his game. Like Fortin, I think the only way he will not be on the team next year is if he is poorly conditioned, although I don’t think it’s as much of a risk for him.

Josh’s Comments: Peat is the best fighter the Capitals have ever raised through their farm system. He is extremely aggressive and is becoming one of the more feared players in the NHL. Peat is special because he is able to play the game as well. He is a decent skater and has a devastating shot. His tremendous work ethic may help to earn him a spot on the Caps’ roster again in training camp, but he will face fierce competition from the aforementioned forwards. Peat’s fighting ability gives him a distinct advantage over his rivals to make the Caps in 2002-2003.