Capitals’ Assistant GM Ross Mahoney on Next Week’s Virtual NHL Draft: “We Will Take The Best Players Available To Us, Regardless Of Position”

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Wednesday morning, Washington Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney spoke to the media on a Zoom call regarding the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft, which will be held virtually beginning Tuesday, October 6.

As a reminder, here are the Capitals’ selections in this year’s draft:

  • 1st round – 24th overall
  • 3rd round – 80th overall
  • 4th round – 117th overall
  • 5th round – 148th overall
  • 6th round – 179th overall

“We will take the best players available to us, regardless of position,” Mahoney said about next week’s draft. He said the organization is not targeting anything specific. The draft was originally scheduled for June 26-27 in Montréal but was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. Mahoney said the extra time to prepare has been “beneficial” and lead to more discussions and meetings.

Because of health and safety protocols and not being able to meet players in person like in years past (pre-pandemic), Mahoney believes they are “very comfortable” getting a “good read on their [prospects] personalities”. He said he has become a “Zoomer” after interviewing multiple prospects virtually.

Training camp will determine which prospects will be competing for a spot on the Capitals roster in the new season. Mahoney is curious to see how defenseman Alex Alexeyev and center Connor McMichael look when camp begins. He is also interested in seeing defenseman Martin Fehervary and goaltender Vitek Vanecek back in action and praised their performance progressions. “Martin has played very well…and so has Vitek.”

Going with two young goaltenders (Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov) for the new season, Mahoney said, “Those are decisions that will be made in the near future.” He mentioned Samsonov did “very well” last season and he is “confident” in both players.

On forward Daniel Sprong, Mahoney said they would “like” to see the 23-year-old Dutch have a “really good [training] camp” and eventually become a full-time player in the NHL. “Probably right now [he] would be more in the bottom-six role.” The team signed Sprong to a two-year, one-way contract for $725,000 AAV on September 18.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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6 Responses to Capitals’ Assistant GM Ross Mahoney on Next Week’s Virtual NHL Draft: “We Will Take The Best Players Available To Us, Regardless Of Position”

  1. Scottlew73 says:

    Wow,is he running for POTUS in 4 years with that intelligent response!!

    • hockeydruid says:

      I agree and this team really needs to score big in this draft and next and taking the best player available regardless of position is just silly. They should have traded the rights to Holty for at least a 5th rounder and then packages that with maybe another pick and a player or 2 and see if they couldnt have gotten another 3 or even a 2. To be honest I look at this team and wonder what position doesnt need better players.

      • Ryan says:

        I have to agree on the silliness of best player available. I’ve said it a few times… statistics show it becomes a bit of a crapshoot outside of the top 10 picks…. probably top 5 if you’re really digging.

        You also have to consider…. Caps aren’t gonna show their cards before the draft – hence the “POTUS” statement above. They have the players they like and know they need around that 24th pick (my gut says they’re looking for a top tier winger or as close as they can get to top tier that late). I think the only way they’re considering best player possible is if the players they wanted are taken earlier or if someone gets skipped repeatedly that was projected to go very early and has high upside that some teams don’t want to take a chance on (Sometimes players with a language barrier or a player that is locked up in another league for quite some time – ie: like Samsonov or Kuzy, or possibly high end talent with poor attitude, etc.).

        • hockeydruid says:

          True about the crapshoot and Im just tires of hearing all GM’s say We will take the best player possible. Maybe the media has just gone to far and been there to often that there is nothing new ever said. Yes a top winger would be nice as would a top D-man. I would even be happy if they took a young goalie as one of the two that we have now will not be here in 3/4 years.

  2. Scottlew73 says:

    Hockeydruid hit it on the head,if you would’ve dealt holtby prior to deadline & got picks & player for him you’d been further ahead. Letting him go knowing you weren’t going to take serious run at resigning him & getting nothing is dumb or as they refer to it in front office “just another days work!”
    It’s criminal how many “Brain Farts” the management makes with no worries of it hitting them in the faces!

    • hockeydruid says:

      Here is a question to ponder when reflecting on the way this organization has made trades over the past 15 years. Is GMBM = GMGM? For me I fail to see any difference even down to letting Trotz walk and promoting someone who was not HC material.

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