The Washington Capitals surprised no one with the players they selected early on in the 2000 Entry Draft. The top three selections all came from the Western Hockey League, where the Caps have gone for several high picks before. The unexpected moves came when the Capitals made four trades involving nine draft picks and one player – 1995 first-rounder Miika Elomo. Elomo had survived Friday’s expansion draft and was expected to make the jump to the NHL next season.
In the first round (26th overall), they chose Brian Sutherby from Moose Jaw. He is a two-way center, and is very physical. The Caps needed more offensive forwards, but could not pass on Sutherby. He suffered a shoulder injury in November and missed some time. He plays a similar style to current Capital Jeff Halpern, but is a bit bigger.
With the first of their two second-round picks (43rd overall), the Capitals grabbed Matt Pettinger. He is a big winger who has some offensive ability. He left college mid-season to enter the WHL and scored seven goals in his first 12 games. He is the fourth member of the 1999-2000 Calgary Hitmen on the Capitals’ reserve list – joining Kris Beech, Rastislav Stana and
The other second-round pick (61st overall) was used to select big defenseman Jakub Cutta from Swift Current. He is an stay-at-home defenseman but likes to carry the puck. He is originally from the Czech Republic, but has adjusted to the North American game very quickly.