Overview: Before the draft was just a seven-round event; it was an eleven-round event. While it may be long, none of the players above besides Gonchar and Carey had much success in the NHL, if they made it that far. Gonchar, of course, is an easily recognizable name. The first Russian defenseman to be a first-round pick started his ongoing NHL career in a Capitals sweater. Gonchar spent ten seasons in D.C. before being traded to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Shaone Morrisonn, a second-round pick (which would be used on a Mikhail Yunkov), and a first-round pick in 2004 (which would later be used on Jeff Schultz). In 634 career games with Washington, Gonchar compiled 144 goals and 272 assists, for 416 points.
RD 1- Sergei Gonchar, D, (14th overall)
RD 2- Jim Carey, G, (32nd overall)
RD 3- Stefan Ustorf, LW, (53rd overall)
RD 4- No 4th-round selection
RD 5- John Varga, LW, (119th overall)
RD 6- No 6th-round pick
RD 7- Mark Matier, D, (167th overall)
RD 8- Mike Mathers, LW, (191st overall)
RD 9- Brian Stagg, RW, (215th overall)
RD 10- Greg Callahan, D, (239th overall)
RD 11- BJ MacPherson, LW, (263rd overall)
Carey showed a lot of promise for his career when he went 18-6-3. The following season, he posted 35 wins in 71 games, recorded nine shutouts, and finished with a goals-against average (GAA) of 2.26; earning him the Vezina Trophy. In 1997, Carey was traded to the Bruins; and never found his dominant form again. He retired shortly thereafter. It was an unfortunate turn of events, and the Caps had been forced to choose between Carey or Olaf Kolzig. They made the right choice!
Evaluation: The selection of Gonchar proved to be very beneficial to the Caps. He was a big reason why the team advanced to the Stanley Cup a Finals in 1998. Carey helped the Caps win a lot of hockey games; and served them well in a Caps sweater. The rest of the team’s draft picks never panned out, bringing the grade down. Gonchar’s longevity is a bonus though, because at 41-years old, he’s still playing in the NHL.
Final Grade: C+