Capitals 2000 draft evaluation

By Sandor Roberts






The Capitals drafted six players in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, and three<br />of them have played in the NHL

The Capitals drafted six players in the 2000 NHL Entry
Draft, and three of them have played in the NHL. While none of those three will
ever be confused with All-Star caliber players (Brian Sutherby, Matt Pettinger
and Jakub Cutta), the small class was reasonably good for the
organization.  The six picks averaged 43
NHL games played per pick.

 

Brian
Sutherby
, 23, C, (1st round, 26th overall)

NHL games played: 109

Status: NHL player

 

2004-05
Team

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Portland
Pirates (AHL)

53

10

19

29

115

-3

 

Always known as a solid defensive forward, Sutherby was a
surprise addition to the 2000-01 Capitals opening night roster, but was
subsequently returned to Moose Jaw after only seven games since he still had
two more years of junior eligibility remaining. Sutherby has spent parts of
three seasons in the NHL (13 points in 109 games). Like a lot of good scorers
in the junior ranks, Sutherby’s offensive skills have not translated well to
pro hockey. His most productive day as an NHL player came in an exhibition, the
2003 NHL Young Stars Game, where he scored two goals and added an assist to
garner MVP honors. At this stage, Sutherby is, at-best, a serviceable third
line center, but there is still hope that he could develop into a solid scorer.
While there is nothing wrong with that, the Capitals seem to have a plethora of
forwards in this mold, and one would have expected more from a first round
draft choice.

 

Matt
Pettinger
, 24, LW, (2nd round, 43rd overall)

NHL games played: 143

Status: NHL player

 

2004-05
Team

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Olimpija
Hertz Ljubljana* (Slovenia)

8

2

5

7

41

NA

  
*Stats are combined from the International and Slovenian
Leagues.

 

The first of two second round choices, Pettinger has
appeared in the most NHL games (143) of any Capitals draft pick from the 2000
Entry Draft. Pettinger played in 71 games during the 2003-04 season, finally
appearing comfortable on the ice, and was playing with a lot of confidence.
Under the guidance of Washington Head Coach Glen Hanlon, Pettinger made huge
strides during the latter half of the season, and was rewarded with a fair
amount of ice time. Pettinger went to Slovenia during the lockout, but did not
stay there very long. He is one of a number of young players who lost a very
important year in terms of his development at the NHL level.

 

Jakub
Cutta
, 23, D, (2nd round, 61st overall)

NHL games played: 8

Status: NHL prospect

 

2004-05
Team

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Portland
Pirates (AHL)

63

0

5

5

100

-11

 

With the 61st pick, the Capitals chose Jakub Cutta, a Czech
defenseman who had come to North America to play for the Swift Current Broncos
(WHL). To date, Cutta has had three abbreviated stints in Washington totaling
eight games. Cutta had been given plenty of chances in training camp over the
past few seasons to show the top brass that he was ready to assume a spot on
the blue line, but was subsequently assigned to Portland. In any event, Cutta
has had an up-and-down time during his stay in the minors. Cutta remains in the
Capitals long-term plans as they need to shore up their defense.

 

Ryan Van
Buskirk
, 25, D, (4th round, 121st overall)

NHL games played: 0

Status: NHL bust

 

2004-05
Teams

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Gwinnett
Gladiators (ECHL)

25

1

11

12

46

-2

Chicago
Wolves (AHL)

27

1

4

5

33

+2

 

Defenseman Ryan Van Buskirk was a re-entry in the 2000 Entry
Draft, having not come to contract terms with the Phoenix Coyotes who selected
him in 1998, 4th round, 100th overall. Van Buskirk spent parts of
three seasons in the Capitals system, playing for the Richmond Renegades (ECHL)
and the Pirates. After the 2002-03 season, Van Buskirk moved on to another ECHL
team, the Florida Everblades. He has split this season between ECHL Gwinnett
and AHL Chicago, and has not appeared in any of Chicago’s playoff games during
their Calder Cup run.

 

Ivan
Nepryaev
, 23, F, (5th round, 163rd overall)

NHL games played: 0

Status: NHL bust

 

2004-05
Team

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Lokomotiv
Yaroslavl (Russia)

56

10

10

20

73

NA

 

Ivan Nepryaev was such a highly sought-after prospect that
no one knew how to spell his last name (it is commonly misspelled as
Nepriayev). Of course, given the fact that he has made absolutely no attempt to
come play in North America, the spelling of his last name is a moot point.
Nepryaev was a member for the Russia WJC team in 2001 and 2002. He has not been
in the Capitals plans for quite some time. 
This season he played with
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the Russia league.

 

Björn Nord, 33, D,
(9th round, 289th overall)

NHL games played: 0

Status: NHL bust

 

2003-04
Team

GP

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

Djurgårdens
IF (Sweden)

20

3

7

10

24

NA

 

With their final selection of the 2000 Entry Draft, the
Capitals drafted an overage European, Swedish defenseman Björn Nord. Other than
spending one season in Germany, Nord enjoyed a productive career in Sweden, and
even played in the World Championships on a couple of occasions. Nord is now
retired.

 

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