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.
The Washington Capitals do not possess many prospects in the junior level this season and those they do have are all from the 2012 draft class. This is not an indication of thin talent for the Capitals, but that many of their prospects are taking different routes such as NCAA or playing in Europe.
The Washington Capitals have done of lot of building from within over the last few years. As a result, the prospect depth has taken quite a hit. However, there was a bit of a rebuild after the 2012 NHL entry draft. While the Capitals organization has plenty of depth, the number of high end prospects is limited and many other prospects are long-term projects.
Below is the middle section Hockey’s Future’s NHL Team Rankings. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by the staff of Hockey's Future. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with the second scheduled to be published in the Spring.
As the 2012-13 season gets under way, the Washington Capitals have many prospects hoping to take their game to the next level. With the exception of Braden Holtby and Dmitri Orlov, most young players with the Capitals have not been affected by the NHL lockout. The Capitals system has a few blue chip prospects mixed in with a larger group of lower end prospects, who have opportunities to step up and prove themselves as true NHL prospects. Players like Connor Carrick, Garrett Mitchell, and Caleb Herbert are not as well known as players like Holtby, Yevgeni Kuznetsov, and Filip Forsberg, but all are worth keeping an eye on this season.