Capitals “Mr. Irrelevant” Eric Florchuk Off To A Hot Start

Steve Hiscock / Saskatoon Blades

Eric Florchuk was taken with the very last pick in the 2018 NHL Draft by the Washington Capitals. Most of those picks turn out to be nothing for obvious reasons: if you are picked so late you probably aren’t that good. But even at the time of the pick it was seen as a great value. Many drafting boards had Eric going in the 4th round, some in the 3rd round. So to grab him with the last pick was a great gamble. 

To start the 2018-2019 in the WHL for the Saskatoon Blades, Florchuk (#17) is proving he’s more than Mr. Irrelevant. Through the first six games the left winger/center has three goals and four assists, good for 1.16 points per game. Last year he averaged 0.69 points per game through 71 games. That’s a good bump in points.

What’s so great about Florchuk is he plays in all situations. Of his three goals one is shorthanded, the other on the powerplay, and the last at 5v5. Another improvement for Eric is he is averaging 3.16 shots per game, when last season it was firing the puck just 1.78 times per game. That is nearly double in shots on net. That’s a promising improvement.

Obviously, six games is way too small of sample to say one thing or another, but it’s a positive sign to see Florchuk getting off to a good start. Is this six game stretch a fluke? Is he not as good or is this what we’ll get? Or more interesting: can he be even better than this?

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9 Responses to Capitals “Mr. Irrelevant” Eric Florchuk Off To A Hot Start

  1. DayOne Caps Fanatic says:

    The general talent level in the NHL is sky-high compared to 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. The 217th best player in the 1990 NHL likely was a minor-leaguer at best. But the Player # 217 in the 2018 NHL Draft class is a very good hockey player. So will be the 400th best player — who missed being drafted altogether. Stanley Cup Champion and MVP Henrik Zetterberg was #210 in the 1999 NHL Draft Class. And the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings chose Zetterberg, NOT the Washington Capitals! Zetterberg has been one of the best NHL forwards over the past 20 years, and some DET scout found him through lots of diligence. Florchuk is a talent! Let’s hope he can make the Caps team someday

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Agreed. Do you think additional rounds need to be added to draft, or keep things the way they are now?

      • DayOne Caps Fanatic says:

        Great question Jon! If the NHL stuffs in yet another franchise in Seattle (and who knows how many more), then an expanded draft is completely appropriate. Many factors are driving the precipitous rise in available magnificently expert ice hockey players worldwide. As long as healthy, inspired young men from industrialized modern countries have reduced opportunities for traditional employment (it’s true, and there are many reasons for this), while having a clear path to complete for the lucrative worldwide professional hockey market … then we will continue to see thousands of NHL-capable hockey players, worldwide, every single year. Another way to say it: 25 years ago, expansion “was diluting the talent pool” … Today, it’s not so true. This glut of skilled hockey players could eventually drive a 40-team NHL. Not so hot for fans yearning for a Stanley Cup!

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