Photo: Selected 24th overall in the 2009 NHL Draft, forward Marcus Johansson has developed into a very solid top-six forward for the Washington Capitals. (courtesy of Bob Frid/Icon SMI)
The Washington Capitals entered the 2009 NHL Draft following a very emotional playoff exit where they lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to their rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in a decisive game seven.
Photo: Defenseman Nate Schmidt is one of several promising defensive prospects the Washington Capitals have in their system. Schmidt signed with the Capitals in 2013, following his junior season at the University of Minnesota. (courtesy of Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)
The Washington Capitals' minor league pool is full of depth defensemen but lacks game-breaking talent. Among the large group, only Nate Schmidt and Connor Carrick look like legitimate top-four defensemen at the NHL level.
Photo: Swedish forward Andre Burakovsky has been very good in his first season of North American hockey, posting 47 points in 31 games with the Erie Otters. (courtesy of Elsa/Getty Images)
The Washington Capitals have stockpiled a top-heavy group of prospects featuring forwards such as Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, and Chandler Stephenson. On the blue line and in net, the cupboard is a bit drier, but there still are some promising young players like Philipp Grubauer and Madison Bowey.
Photo: Forward Tom Wilson had a breakout year in the OHL, managing 23 goals, 35 assists, and 104 penalty minutes through 48 games. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
The Washington Capitals spring top 20 has a much different look than the fall edition. Braden Holtby graduated and Filip Forsberg (NAS), Zach Hamill (BOS), and Kevin Marshall (TOR) have been traded. Riley Barber had a breakout season and debuts in the top 10, while Michael Latta, Casey Wellman, Nicolas Deschamps, and Chay Genoway all were acquired via trade. Recent free agent signing from the University of Minnesota, Nate Schmidt, joins the list and is among the Capitals top prospects.
Photo: With 12 goals and 12 assists through 39 games, Tomas Kundratek has been the top producing defenseman for the Hershey Bears this season. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)
The Hershey Bears, the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals, did not get as much help as many AHL teams did with the lockout. The team has struggled at times offensively, but has stayed in contention because of the play of goaltender Braden Holtby. With the NHL lockout over, Holtby was recalled to the big club, paving the way for Philipp Grubauer to lead the Bears in net.