Another NHL Entry Draft is in the books, as the 2022 draft concluded on Friday. The Washington Capitals were busy, selecting seven players: three left wingers, two centers, and two defenseman.
The Capitals had three primary position targets: stock-up on left-wingers, add to the center depth and add a right-handed defensemen. Here’s a recap of the Capitals selection.
The Capitals led off their draft selections on Thursday night by selecting left winger Ivan Miroshnichenko. Miroshnichenko was born in Ussuriysk, Primorsky Krai on February 4, 2004. His hometown is in far Eastern Russia, not far from the Chinese border, but he moved around a lot to chase his hockey dream.
Last season, he played for Omsk Krylia until he was diagnosed with Hopkins Lymphoma. He is currently in remission and was cleared for skating in June. Before his cancer diagnosis, scouts had perceived him as a top 10 pick. More on the selection here.
On Friday morning, the Capitals traded goaltender, Vitek Vanecek, and a second-round draft pick (#46) to the New Jersey Devils for the Devils’ second-round pick (pick #37) and their third-round pick (pick #70). This allowed the Capitals to move up in the second round where they selected defenseman Ryan Chesley.
Chesley was a top-four defenseman for the U.S. NTDP this season, often playing on both special teams units. He represented Team USA’s Under 18 team during the last two seasons and Team USA’s Under 17 in 2020-21. He’s committed to the University of Minnesota. More on the selection here.
The Capitals acquired an extra third-round pick, i.e. pick #70 overall, as part of the Vitek Vanecek trade. They used that pick to select left-winger, Alexander Suzdalev. Suzdalev was born in Khabarovsk, Russia on March 5, 2004, but moved to Sweden when he was seven years old because his father, Anatoly, signed a contract to play bandy for a Swedish club. Thus, he holds dual citizenship for both Sweden and Russia and represents Sweden internationally.
Last season, he played for the HV71 Hockey Club at various levels, primarily with the Junior 20 and Under level. He is considered to be a good playmaker with size. More on the selection here.
The Capitals drafted left-winger Ludwig Persson with their original third-round pick, i.e. pick #85. Persson was born on October 8, 2003, in Gothenburg, Sweden.
He is considered to be a smooth-skating, offensively-minded, forward who needs to round out the rest of his game in order to earn better opportunities to let his offense shine. He possesses legitimate upside as a scoring threat at the NHL level.
Last season persson played for the Frolunda Hockey Club, primarily at the Junior 20 National Level, but played 10 games with their top club in the Swedish Elite League (SEL). More on the selection here.
The Capitals drafted center, Jake Karabela, with their fifth-round pick at #149 overall. He was born on March 7, 2004, in Guelph, Ontario. Last season, he played for the junior team in his hometown of Guelph. In prior seasons, he played at various levels, also in his hometown.
Photo: Guelph Storm
Karabela is considered to be a gifted two-way forward who can read the ice very well and has a strong awareness of transition. He is considered to be a good neutral zone defender. More on the selection here.
The Capitals drafted center, Ryan Hofer, with their sixth-round pick at #181 overall. He was born on May 10, 2020, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Hofer had been passed over in the last two NHL drafts but his game has improved greatly this past season, playing for the Everett Silvertips in the WHL.
Photo: Everett Silvertips
He is considered to be a big-bodied forward with a consistently high level of competitiveness. He can play all three positions. He also can even drop the gloves on occasion. More on the selection here.
The Capitals’ last selection in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft was defenseman, Davie Gucciardi, chosen with pick #213 overall. He was born in Toronto, Ontario on October 9, 2002.
Last season, he played with the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten. He had been passed over once prior in the draft before getting selected this year.
Photo: Spartan News Wire
When he is on the ice, he demands the puck, gets it, passes it, and then joins the rush to get it that day. More on the selection here.
Onward And Upward
Capitals Assistant General Manager, Ross Mahoney summed up the draft by saying, “We’re really, really happy with the guys that we got. I thought we got really good value with the players we took, and the round that we got them in. There were a couple for sure, a couple of them I didn’t think would be there when we picked. Some of the others I thought would be there, but really, really happy.
Many of the Capitals 2022 draft selections are now on their way to northern Virginia for the Capitals development camp, which begins on Monday.
By Diane Doyle
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By Diane Doyle