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2011 NHL Draft: Washington Capitals four picks have yet to play in NHL

by Sean Shapiro
on
2011 NHL Draft: Washington Capitals four picks have yet to play in NHL

Photo: Sixth round pick Travis Boyd is the only of four 2011 NHL Draft selections to be signed by the Washington Capitals (courtesy Graig Abel/Getty images).

 

 

The 2011 NHL Draft was a forgettable one for the Washington Capitals.

Washington traded away its first round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Troy Brouwer and Chicago used that pick to select Philip Danault. That transaction left Washington with just four picks, all on the second day of the draft. Read more »

2011 NHL Draft: Dallas Stars bet on size and found some players

by Sean Shapiro
on
2011 NHL Draft: Dallas Stars bet on size and found some players

Photo: Dallas Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak split his time between the NHL and AHL in 2015-16, appearing in just 19 games for Dallas and eight games for the Texas Stars (courtesy of Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

 

The Dallas Stars went to St. Paul, Minnesota looking at physical tools and going after players with size in the 2011 NHL Draft.

Dallas drafted a pair of tall defensemen (Jamie Oleksiak and Troy Vance) that each topped 6’5″, while they also loaded up on a pair of power forwards in Brett Ritchie and Matej Stransky. Read more »

Washington Capitals prospect awards shines light on strong farm team

by Sean Shapiro
on
Washington Capitals prospect awards shines light on strong farm team

Photo: Washington Capitals prospect Stanislav Galiev spent most of the 2015-16 season with the big club, but as a healthy scratch. (courtesy David Hahn/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

The Washington Capitals season once again came to a premature end in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That heartbreak could lead to NHL opportunities next season for a handful of prospects, including young winder Jakub Vrana.

A naturally-gifted Czech, Vrana highlights the Capitals end-of-season prospect awards, even though he dealt with a wrist injury and surgery this season. Read more »

AHL Western Conference Notebook, May, 2016: Reign, Monsters battle for Western supremacy

by Sean Shapiro
on
AHL Western Conference Notebook, May, 2016: Reign, Monsters battle for Western supremacy

Photo: Lake Erie Monsters defenseman and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Zach Werenski has been impressive in AHL action since turning pro at the end of the 2015-16 NCAA season (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

Lake Erie Monsters coach Jared Bednar understands the challenge in front of his team as it prepares for the Calder Cup Western Conference Finals against the Ontario Reign.

The Reign are the defending champions, having won the title last season as the Manchester Monarchs, and return 15 players with championship rings. In addition, Ontario is big, physical and plays “Los Angeles Kings-style hockey” that wins in the playoffs. Read more »

Europeans headline Washington Capitals Top 20 prospects

by Sean Shapiro
on
Europeans headline Washington Capitals Top 20 prospects

Photo: Boston College Eagle and Washington Capitals prospect Zach Sanford had a breakout season in 2015-16 with 39 points in 41 games. (courtesy of John Crouch/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

It’s the most important position on the ice and the Washington Capitals have invested heavily in goalies amongst their Top 20 prospects. Washington has a trio of goalies in the Top 20 including two in the top 10, while you can’t forget the franchise goalie Braden Holtby is only 26.

Washington also has a good collection of puck-moving defenseman, while there are a couple intriguing prospects and projects at other positions.

Read more »

Dallas Stars prospect awards reveal system strength and weakness

by Sean Shapiro
on
Dallas Stars prospect awards reveal system strength and weakness

Photo: Dallas Stars prospect Radek Faksa, the 13th pick of the 2012 Draft, was brought along slowly but emerged during the playoffs (courtesy of Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill believes that it’s best to have prospects “over ripen” and over develop in the AHL. Although Dallas fell short in this season’s Stanley Cup playoffs, the patience paid off as AHL players made instant impacts for the NHL club.

Read more »

Washington Capitals continue tradition with strong group of Europe-based prospects

by Sean Shapiro
on
Washington Capitals continue tradition with strong group of Europe-based prospects

Photo: Notre Dame forward and Washington Capitals prospect Thomas Di Pauli was a greatly improved player in his final two seasons of collegiate hockey with the Fighting Irish (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

 

 

Looking at both sides of the pond, the Washington Capitals had long-term projects playing in the NCAA ranks and Europe this past season.

In college Washington a group of forwards that all matured more this season and one prospect who won a national title. In Europe, Washington watched as a group of teenagers started to step up against adult competition, including top-ranked prospect and 19 year old goalie Ilya Samsonov in the KHL.

Read more »

AHL Western Conference Notebook, April, 2016: Western, Midwest series include notable prospect performers

by Sean Shapiro
on
AHL Western Conference Notebook, April, 2016: Western, Midwest series include notable prospect performers

Photo: Lake Erie Monsters goaltender and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Joonas Korpisalo was a top performer for the Monsters in their opening round sweep of the Rockford IceHogs in the 2016 AHL playoffs (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

Four teams remain in the AHL Western Conference playoff race that kicks off Thursday in California and in Cleveland.

The two matchups feature teams that met several times in the 2015-16 season, so both series could potentially go the full seven games. Read more »

Barracuda’s Carpenter impressing on and off the ice

by Sean Shapiro
on
Barracuda’s Carpenter impressing on and off the ice

Photo: San Jose Barracuda forward and San Jose Sharks prospect Ryan Carpenter saw his first NHL action in the 2015-16 campaign, appearing in one game for the Sharks in December (courtesy of Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

 

Ryan Carpenter is used to putting others first, both off the ice and on it.

And the San Jose Barracuda forward and San Jose Sharks prospect has been honored for both contributions this season by the American Hockey League. Read more »

Share of AHL rookie award in hand, Rampage’s Rantanen sets sights on NHL

by Sean Shapiro
on
Share of AHL rookie award in hand, Rampage’s Rantanen sets sights on NHL

Photo: San Antonio Rampage forward and Colorado Avalanche prospect Mikko Rantanen finished second in AHL rookie scoring behind the Providence Bruins’ Austin Czarnik, scoring 24 goals and 60 points in 52 games (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

Mikko Rantanen didn’t plan on or expect to win the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award as the American Hockey League’s outstanding rookie.

The 19-year-old Finland native and Colorado Avalanche prospect knew he had a strong season, but looking across the league he knew the goal-per-game rate (albeit in less games) of the Providence Bruins’ Frank Vatrano would be tough to beat. Read more »