Primer for The Washington Capitals 2018 NHL Entry Draft: June 22nd and 23rd in Dallas, Texas

The 2018 NHL Entry Draft is set for next Friday and Saturday (June 22nd and 23rd) at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Round 1 will be held Friday night with rounds 2-7 taking place Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon. The draft will be carried live by NBCSN (Friday) and the NHL network (Saturday).

After trading away a number of draft picks in recent years, mostly to address immediate needs for an all-out run at the Stanley Cup, within what Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan defined as a “two-year window”, the so-called “window” closed at the end of the 2016-2017 season, and the trading of draft picks ceased.

This spring, prior to the trade deadline, MacLellan stated that the organization could not continue trading away draft picks and decimating the prospect pool.  MacLellan has essentially held true to this statement since the closing of his proverbial “window” of opportunity. The kicker? the Capitals won the Stanley Cup the year after the so-called “window” closed. The icing? draft picks are starting to make their way back into Capitals draft day. (For more information on all of the current Capitals prospects, visit our “Prospects” page right here.)

Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan recently stated that the Capitals scouting department likes this year’s pool of talent in general, much more so than last year’s draft class. This may be fact, or a bit of cover for trading away a wealth of draft picks in recent years. Only time will tell.

MacLellan has also been clear about the Capitals general draft strategy, selecting the best player available (regardless of position or needs). Would the Capitals truly draft another goalie (a position they are very deep at in the prospect pool), if a goalie was the best player available at the time of their selection? It will be interesting to see if this strategy continues to hold true.

Players that were born between January 1, 1998, and September 15, 2000, are eligible for selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Additionally, undrafted, non-North American players born in 1997 are eligible for the draft; and those players who were drafted in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, but not signed by an NHL team and who were born after June 30, 1998, are also eligible to re-enter the draft.

Washington Capitals Picks in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1:



Round 2:


From Florida via New Jersey

Round 3:



Round 4:


Round 5:


Traded to Minnesota

Round 6:



Round 7:



Roound 1 Notes
The Capitals will have a first round selection for the first time since the 2016 draft when they selected Lucas Johansen 28th overall. The Capitals selected goalie Ilya Samsonov 22nd overall in the first round of the 2015 draft and Jakub Vrana 13th overall in the first round of the 2014 draft. The Capitals selected Andre Burakovsky with the 23rd overall pick in the first round of the 2013 draft.

Round 2 Notes
The Florida Panthers’ second-round pick will go the Capitals as the result of a trade on July 2, 2017 that sent Marcus Johansson to New Jersey in exchange for Toronto’s third-round pick in 2018 and this pick. New Jersey previously acquired this pick as the result of a trade on June 10, 2016 that sent Paul Thompson and Graham Black to Florida in exchange for Marc Savard and this pick.

The Capitals original second-round pick will go to the Montreal Canadiens as the result of a trade on June 24, 2016 that sent Lars Eller to Washington in exchange for a second-round pick in 2017 and this pick.

Round 3 Notes
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ third-round pick will go to the Chicago Blackhawks as the result of a trade on February 19, 2018 that sent Michal Kempny to Washington in exchange for this conditional pick. The condition – Chicago will receive the higher of Toronto or Washington’s third-round pick in 2018 – was converted on April 25, 2018 when Toronto was eliminated from the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs ensuring that Toronto would select higher than Washington. Washington previously acquired this pick as the result of a trade on July 2, 2017 that sent Marcus Johansson to New Jersey in exchange for Florida’s second-round pick in 2018 and this pick. New Jersey previously acquired this pick as compensation for Toronto hiring Lou Lamoriello as their general manager on July 23, 2015.

Round 5 Notes
The Washington Capitals’ fifth-round pick will go to the Minnesota Wild as the result of a trade on June 14, 2017 that sent Tyler Graovac to Washington in exchange for this pick.

The Capitals had just four selections in the 2017 NHL entry draft. The Caps selected defenseman Tobias Geisser (120th overall), defenseman Sebastian Walfridsson (151st overall), defenseman Benton Maass (182nd overall) and left wing Kristian Roykas Marthinsen (213th) on the second day of the 2017 NHL Draft, held Saturday at United Center in Chicago, Ill.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin calls 2014 draft pick Jakub Vrana.

We will have plenty more draft coverage in the coming days, so please stay tuned.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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8 Responses to Primer for The Washington Capitals 2018 NHL Entry Draft: June 22nd and 23rd in Dallas, Texas

  1. DayOne Caps Fanatic says:

    Attention Caps Management and Leadership: Beware the “Stanley Cup Snooze” disease at next week’s draft! It happened in 1999. I was so torqued off! The Red Wings had just crunched the Caps in the Stanley Cup Finals …. and two weeks later Detroit drafted future Hall of Famer / Red Wings team captain / Stanley Cup Winner / Conn Smythe man Henrik Zetterberg with the 210th selection, way late in the Seventh Round. Even though I acknowledge the “crap shoot” propensity for pro sport Drafts …. it was still appalling to see the Cup Champions grab the best player in that Draft after 209 players had already been selected. The Caps 1999 draft was a catastrophe (look it up), netting these luminaries: Kris Beech (C), Michal Sivek (C), Charlie Stephens (C), Ross Lupaschuk (D), Nolan Yonkman D), Roman Tvrdon (C), Kyle Clark (RW), David Bornhammar (D). Caps had a lot of lean years following the 1999 disaster … which led to the 2003/4 sell-off … and eventually the Ovechkin era. Let’s not repeat the 1999 fiasco

    • Phil Kelly says:

      Hey now, that 1999 draft fiasco wasn’t that bad. Beech, Sivek and Lupaschek got us the great Jaromir Jagr, you know. 😉

  2. Anonymous says:

    They have done well in the draft in the last still say they should draft a G every draft ASSUMING they think he can play in the NHL one day. Use Grubbie this year to draft up.

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