Capitals GM MacLellan on Selecting Eighth Overall in 2023 Draft: “Everybody In Our Organization Is Excited About the Player We’ll Be Able to Draft In That Spot”

Screenshot: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals’ 2023 offseason officially got underway on Monday, with the team receiving confirmation via the NHL Draft Lottery that they will make the eighth overall selection in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan will be entering his ninth NHL Entry Draft as the team’s General Manager, and perhaps no draft selection has been as important during his tenure as this one, the first Top 10 pick the Caps have owned since drafting defenseman Karl Alzner fifth overall in 2007.

“I think it’s still a good pick”, MacLellan said of the Caps’ draft placement, “Our guys are excited about where we’re picking. I have good faith in our staff, there’s a lot of good players in the top part of the first round and we’re excited to get one.”

The Caps’ Top 10 selection came on the heels of a disappointing 2022-23 season, one in which the club missed the postseason for the first time in nine seasons with a 35-37-10 record.

“It’s not fun getting to this point, but I think everybody in our organization is excited about the player that we’ll be able to draft in that spot.”

After mutually agreeing to part ways with former bench boss Peter Laviolette, the Caps will be in search of the eighth head coach of the Alex Ovechkin era and 20th in franchise history.

Following the draft lottery, MacLellan provided an update regarding the search for a new voice behind the bench.

“We’re just beginning”, MacLellan said, indicating that potential targets’ current teams are still in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, “There’s a lot of teams still playing, there’s a lot of guys we want to talk to.” The Caps, who have reported interest in bringing in former captain Jeff Halpern (currently an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning) to interview for the vacancy, are taking their due diligence.

“We’ve targeted a few guys, and we’ll bring them in, we’ll talk to them, and then kind of go from there.”

The Capitals’ goal of getting younger this summer was aided with the signings of 2022 first-round pick Ivan Miroshnichenko and defenseman Hardy Haman Aktell  to entry-level contracts; additionally, the team inked veteran forward Mike Sgarbossa to a two-year contract.

“Ivan coming over is a big deal, I don’t know that we were expecting it”, MacLellan admitted of the team’s last top pick, “We were, at some point, thinking he was going to spend one more year over there. Got him over here for this year, so we’re excited to get control of him, get him into Development Camp see where he’s at, and then go from there in training camp.”

The 2023 NHL Entry Draft is set to take place on June 28-29 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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7 Responses to Capitals GM MacLellan on Selecting Eighth Overall in 2023 Draft: “Everybody In Our Organization Is Excited About the Player We’ll Be Able to Draft In That Spot”

  1. Prevent Defense says:

    Thanks for the summary Michael!

    GM Mac positive and upbeat, good to see that. Also good to have John Walton participating in off-season Caps activities!

    Do the Caps have any injured roster players besides Connor Brown? Any word about resigning him?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I almost forgot that Ivan has been drafted by a CHL team in the import draft. I think that if he doesn’t seem ready for the AHL after a few games it’s highly likely he’s sent to the QMJHL where the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    Greetings folks! Just a quick note, if you haven’t done so already, please consider subscribing to NoVa Caps posts in the “subscribe” box located in the upper right corner. Thank you!

  4. Anonymous says:

    in the draft, Carlson is like Backy… trade up for him or trade down for the RHD

  5. Anonymous says:

    Benson should be the Caps target. Perreault as a backup.

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