In this post we will take a look at the development of the Washington Capitals prospect pool from a five-year perspective. The extended perspective is utilized to look at the Capitals long-term organizational status based on five-year projections for each of the Capitals prospects. The projections are then utilized to assess the organizational state and future status for each prospect on a season-by-season basis.
Long range plans help hockey management staff map out the current and future status of a team and its prospects. In other words, by developing a five-year road map, managers can identify soft spots in talent for any number of years out, and identify overall organizational needs.
The five-year plan is also critical in developing long-range spending plans (salary cap management) so that teams don’t work their way into a corner with regards to allowable or planned spending. Managers can identify future seasons where the cap might be extra tight, or identify player needs several years in advance.
A critical component to any successful long-range plan is the accurate projection of asset development. In hockey terms, this entails forecasting the developmental tracks (or trajectories) for players. By mapping five-year projections, managers can plan for organizational needs well into the future.
The development tracks (or trajectories) typically contain two pertinent components: 1 ) current evaluation status and 2) projection of where each prospect will be for the next five seasons. Obviously the second task is the most challenging component for accurate and viable long-range planning.
5-Year Prospect Projections
The following are the 2020-21 preseason projections for each of the Capitals prospects, extended for the next five years. The projections are based on evaluations of more than 220 prospect games from the 2019-20 season that were conducted by our prospect analysts and input from local player evaluator contacts.
The projections also include an overall forecast color code, which identifies the current projected long-term result for each prospect.
Obviously the ratings can change, therefore these projections are generated each off-season.
It should be noted that these projections need to be generated on a regular basis as development status can change. Take Brian Pinho for example. His development projection looked quite different prior to the end of the 2018-19 season.
It should also be noted that several of aforementioned prospects contracts expire this off-season, and may or may not be renewed. This will obviously affect the overall values depicted in the chart above.
In future posts we will begin to assess organizational needs for the next five seasons by overlaying current roster contracts with these prospect projections to identify needs for the next five seasons.
By Jon Sorensen
and NoVa Caps prospect analysts team
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The Washington Capitals and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) have extended their affiliation agreement through the 2023-24 season, Capitals senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan and Bears vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer announced today. #ALLCAPS #Capitals (📷 Photo: Caroline O’Connor/Great Save Productions/Hershey Bears)