Photo: The Washington Capitals organization is hoping goaltender Braden Holtby will be able to replicate his strong 2012 playoff performance over the span of an entire regular season. (Will Schneekloth/Icon SMI)
The Washington Capitals used the 2012 NHL draft as an opportunity to restock their prospect pool by adding 10 new players. Among the new additions are a mix of players who should have an impact in the next couple years, along with some longer term projects.
Photo: Regarded as a potential top five pick, forward Filip Forsberg slid down to the 11th spot in the draft, where the Washington Capitals were more than happy to select him. (Ian Altenbaugh/HF)
After just one pick in the first two rounds of the previous two drafts, the 2012 NHL Draft was a chance for the Washington Capitals to restock their prospect cupboards. The Capitals entered the draft with a total of 11 picks, and ended up keeping 10 of them. Though General Manager George McPhee dealt the club's second round selection to the Dallas Stars, packaging it with Cody Eakin, the return – Mike Ribeiro – was a significant one.
Photo: The Washington Capitals went the trade route in the 2011 NHL Draft, sending their first round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for winger Troy Brouwer. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)
After nearly advancing to the Eastern Conference finals, the revitalized Washington Capitals now turn their attention to the off-season. After having just four picks in last year's draft, the club has stockpiled 11 picks for this June's draft, including the 11th overall pick, which they acquired from the Colorado Avalanche for Semyon Varlamov, and their own 16th overall pick.
Photo: London Knights captain Jarred Tinordi and his London Knights teammates fell just short of a Memorial Cup championship. Tinordi is a top prospect of the Montreal Canadiens (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
Below is the bottom third of the ranking of the prospect depth of the NHL organizations as voted by the Hockey's Future staff. To determine the ranking, each team's entire prospect pool was taken into consideration. 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 each season, in the fall and spring.
Photo: Defenseman Dmitri Orlov is one of the newest additions to a young Capitals blue line. Orlov earned a spot in the lineup because veteran defenseman Mike Green spent most of the 2011-12 regular season on the IR. (Photo courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SM)
Since the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Karl Alzner, and more recently Marcus Johansson, have graduated to form the core of the Washington Capitals, the organization's prospect pool has been dwindling. Their top prospect, Yevgeni Kuznetsov, is one of the most skilled young forwards outside of the NHL, but has said he'll likely be spending the next two years in Russia. Beyond Kuznetsov and Braden Holtby, the Capitals prospect cupboards are fairly bare, and it's reflected in their first annual prospect awards.