The hockey world is getting close to the 2019 NHL Draft. With the Draft beginning on Friday evening, all 31 NHL clubs are trying to improve their organizations for the future. The Capitals have been one of the NHL’s most successful clubs in the Ovechkin era, and are looking to add on to their tremendous success.
With the 25th pick in the NHL Draft, the Capitals pick late in round 1, but the club should be able to acquire a solid prospect that will be able to contribute a few years down the road. While the Capitals are likely going to keep their pick, they are also one of the teams that has been notable on the trade front.
GM Brian MacLellan has moved his first-round pick before, so there is still the possibility that the Capitals may not even pick at #25.
MOVING UP IN THE DRAFT
There is a good chance the Capitals will seek some forward help in this draft. They have done a solid job with building their organizational depth on defense and goaltending, but the forwards could use additional depth.
Moving up in a draft is a bit of a risk, considering the additional draft capital that will need to be sacrificed. However, the Capitals can always explore this option if they feel there is a player on their draft board that will be selected before they can make their pick.
The good news for the Capitals is that the 2019 NHL Draft seems very forward heavy in the first round, so the Capitals should still be able to get a good player even with a later pick.
While it is unlikely the Capitals will trade up in the Draft, the possibility is there. If the Capitals want a chance to grab a quality forward with high-end skill, taking a swing to move up is something they should always consider.
MOVING DOWN IN THE DRAFT
Entering Friday’s Draft, the Washington Capitals hold five draft selections. The Capitals have moved down in previous drafts to acquire more draft picks. It is a strong possibility that the Capitals will do this at some point in the Draft.
Organizationally, the Capitals do not have many highly-skilled forward prospects. The Capitals could choose to add more picks in hopes of finding more forwards in later rounds.
MAXIMUM SALARY CAP SHRINKING
The Capitals are tight against the cap, so every dollar spent matters. The Capitals and other clubs are in limbo right now because the maximum salary cap may not be announced until the Draft has already taken place.
Every dollar spent on players is important for general managers in a salary cap world. The Capitals must be careful this offseason with Jakub Vrana’s large extension looming. In addition to Vrana’s next deal, the Capitals have Brett Connolly to think about for a possible contract extension.
By: George Foussekis