The following represents NoVa Caps’ top 20 ranking of Washington Capitals prospects heading into this year’s draft and development camp at the end of June. We prepared this ranking annually to establish an analytical baseline for future follow-up analysis and rankings that will be conducted after the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and Capitals development camp at the end of June. A final prospects ranking for 2019 will be prepared after the prospect tournament training camp this fall, heading into the 2019-2020 season.
There is no industry-accepted standard definition for a “prospect”. For the purpose of this ranking, a prospect is generally considered to be any player in the Washington Capitals system currently not on the NHL roster, with a focus on draft picks and acquisitions made by the Capitals. The “prospect” may be signed or unsigned.
The ranking requires some “apples-to-oranges” comparisons. For example, where does a 29-year-old defenseman, say Aaron Ness, rank in comparison to a 21 year-old forward, Garrett Pilon? Or how does a 25 year-old forward, say Riley Barber, compare to a 21 year-old forward, Garrett Pilon? And how should experience in different leagues be compared?
Leagues, positions, experience and age were all considered. We also considered potential/upside and potential long-term value to ultimately establish the final ranking.
Assumptions for Ranking
The evaluation was prepared with all players currently in the system as of Friday, May 31. However, it’s likely a player or two may not be re-signed or return to the Capitals during the free agency period starting July 1. Consideration was given for players that will possibly and/or likely not return.
Method of Analysis and Ranking
The ranking was established using mulriple evaluation points, which includes six weighted categories:
a. 2018-2019 season evaluations
b. Previous seasons evaluations
c. Development from 2017-2018 season to 2018-2019 season
d. Future/Potential upside
e. Potential value/Career remaining
Finally, the weighted scores are tallied to establish the final ranking.
NoVa Caps 2019 Pre-Draft And Development Camp Prospect Ranking
Rank | Prospect | Position | Player Review and Forecast Link
1. Ilya Samsonov – G – (Link)
2. Alexander Alexeyev – D – (Link)
3. Vitek Vanecek – G – (Link)
4. Riley Barber – F – (Link)
5. Nathan Walker – F – (Link)
6. Garrett Pilon – F – (Link)
7. Aaron Ness – D – (Link)
8. Tyler Lewington – D – (Link)
9. Martin Fehervary – D – (Link)
10. Beck Malenstyn – F – (Link)
11. Shane Gersich – F – (Link)
12. Connor Hobbs – D – (Link)
13. Brian Pinho – F – (Link)
14. Tobias Geisser – D – (Link)
15. Liam O’Brien – F – (Link)
16. Lucas Johansen – D – (Link)
17. Axel Jonsson-Fjallby – F – (Link)
18. Alex Kannok-Leipert – D – (Link)
19. Riley Sutter – F – (Link)
20. Eric Florchuk – F – (Link)
Honorable Mentions – Kristian Roykas-Marthinsen, Damien Riat, Parker Milner, Benton Maass, Kody Clark.
New Faces to Watch – Joe Snively, Bobby Nardella. Both late-season signings by the Capitals, there was just too small of a sample size to consider Snively and Nardella in the pre-draft and development camp ranking, but we liked the few games we saw from both players.
Fringe Players Not Included In Ranking – Jonas Siegenthaler, Travis Boyd and Christian Djoos were on the Capitals end-of-season roster, and not included in this analysis. Mike Sgarbossa, 26 and an unrestricted free agent, was the best offensive player on the Bears this season, but it was fairly clear he was a Capitals signing intended for the Bears roster.
Stay tuned for our updated rankings following the upcoming draft and development camp.