Washington traded veterans Joe Juneau, Tom Chorske, Dale Hunter and Craig Berube and the only body they received back was highly touted Sabres prospect Alexei Tezikov. These trades opens up four roster spots which the Caps filled by recalling forwards Matt Herr, Benoit Gratton, Trevor Halverson, and defenseman Steve Poapst. All four had spent various time split between the Portland Pirates and the Caps this season.
On March 28, Washington also called up defensemen Patrick Bolieau from Indianapolis of the IHL. All five call up have been playing since they were brought up so the Caps are now a much younger a very inexperience hockey team.
Tezikov was assigned to Cincinnati of the IHL. Not clear why they would send him to the I instead of the Portland (AHL), though maybe the presence of the heavy number of Chicago prospects in Portland may have played a part in the decision.
In other Caps news; Washington announced they have signed defenseman Dean Stork. Dean played this past year at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. A junior who recently completed his third collegiate season, helping the team to a 12-21-2 overall record.
For those who continue to believe that the Washington Capitals still have one of the best groups of prospects in all of hockey, I would suggest you take a another look. The continual injury crisis in Washington has slowly and steadily drained much of Washington’s youth, rushing many of them into the NHL. Now, if you choose to include players like Jan Bulis, Jaroslav Svejkowski , Richard Zednik and Brendan Witt as prospects, there is little doubt that the Capitals are still powerful. However, in all fairness, all four of those players have shown they do belong in the NHL and they can no longer truly be considered prospects. The current state of looks rather bleak mainly because Washington has had two sub par drafts in a row and much of their current talent pool appears to be more career minor leaguers than NHL. If I was to honestly rank the Capitals I would have to place them somewhere between 8 and 14.
Examining the players currently within the system, the Capitals do show some balance. They appear to have at least one fairly strong prospect at every position but beyond that it looks thin. The center position appears to be Washington’s strongest area though the team seems to be fairly deep on defense as well. If a few of the goalies can regain their previous forms, the Caps seem set at that position as well for years to come.
Let’s take a look at what is left in Washington’s system position by position.
Goaltending: Read more»