Photo: The Draft Analyst
The 2016 NHL Entry Draft is taking place this weekend in Buffalo, NY. Diehard hockey fans will hope that their favorite respective franchises can select some good prospects for the future.
The Capitals are not expected to make any big splashes at or before the NHL Draft. If things stay status quo, they are expected to hold on to their #26 pick in the 1st round.
So who are some prospects Capitals fans should be aware of before the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo? Who could possibly become a future Washington Capital?
Let’s take a look at who the Capitals could select at #26.
Prospect profiles courtesy of eliteprospects
PASCAL LABERGE (C/RW) – VICTORIAVILLE TIGRES – QMJHL
23 G, 45 A, 68 P
RASMUS ASPLUND (C/LW) – FARJESTAD BK – SHL
4 G, 8 A, 12 P
JORDAN KYROU (RW/C) – SARNIA STING – OHL
17 G, 34 A, 51 P
ALEX DEBRINCAT (C) – ERIE OTTERS – OHL
51 G, 50 A, 101 P
GERMAN RUBSTOV (C) – TEAM RUSSIA U-18 – MHL
12 G, 14 A, 26 P
I think the Capitals will stick with drafting more Russian players. Rubstov is a skilled winger who has a good set of hands. He will need to continue to fill out his frame, but he is a decent forechecker that can make his opponents pay if they turn the puck over. Since the Capitals did not select any forwards in the 2015 NHL Draft, they will probably load up on forwards in the 2016 Draft.
OTHER DRAFT NOTES
-The Capitals may not stay at #26. Since the Capitals are without a 2nd and 3rd round pick in the Draft, they may decide to trade down to gather more picks.
-Something the Capitals management brass will be thinking about heading into the Draft is Marcus Johansson. Johansson is a restricted free agent, and he is probably chasing a long term deal with an average annual cap hit in the $4.5-5.5 million range. Can the Capitals make this contract work with the expansion draft looming next year? Will the Capitals decide to trade Johansson’s rights away to get another young player or high draft pick in return?
-The Capitals currently have slightly over $14 million in cap space. The upper cap limit for the 2016-17 season is $73 million. GM Brian MacLellan said that he will qualify all of his restricted free agents (Marcus Johansson, Dmitry Orlov, Tom Wilson, and Michael Latta). Capitals brass will be looking to add some speed in their bottom 6 forward group and on the blueline. The Capitals needs could be addressed via trade or through free agency. The Capitals would probably prefer to make a trade, since clubs can tend to overpay via free agency.
By: George Foussekis