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.
Team Depth Chart of NHL Prospects
- Surplus of role players
- Talented depth in goal
- Several prospects with high-end potential
- Thin on defense and left wing
- Shallow pool in terms of overall NHL potential.
Legend of Players' Leagues
- Playing in N.A. Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL, etc.)
- Playing in CHL (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)
- Playing in NCAA
- Playing in Europe
- Playing in Junior 'A' (USHL, BCHL, AJHL, etc.)
- Not Categorized Yet
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.
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.
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.
Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)
Despite having a couple prospects who could become key players for the team in the future, the Washington Capitals prospect pool thins out pretty quickly. Evgeny Kuznetsov has first-line potential, while Braden Holtby has shown throughout this year's playoffs that he could become an elite-level goaltender. Yet, the bottom half of the Capitals top-20 is populated with players unlikely to ever make an impact at the NHL level.