Capitals Trade 7th Round Draft Picks With San Jose Sharks, Select Goaltender Antoine Keller

It looked like the Washington Capitals wouldn’t make a single trade as the 2023 NHL draft began to wrap-up in Nashville on Thursday. But late in the seventh and final round, they ended up making a late deal, trading their seventh round pick in next year’s draft for the San Jose Sharks’ seventh round pick in this years draft. They used the additional pick to select Antoine Keller, goaltender for Geneve-Servette in the Swiss League.

Keller, 18, is the second French-born goaltender to be selected in an NHL Draft, following Cristobal Huet (No. 214 by LAK in 2001).

This season, Keller played Genève-Servette, winner of the Swiss championship. He did not play any games with the professional team, but played 25 games with the U20 Elite, with an average of 3.40 goals against average.

The goalkeeper was also played five times with HCV Martigny, a club in the Swiss third division – to which he was loaned and which won his championship.

In addition, Keller was also played for the French team at the World Junior Championship, where he played three games for 2.70 goals against average and .921 save percentage.

By Jon Sorensen

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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7 Responses to Capitals Trade 7th Round Draft Picks With San Jose Sharks, Select Goaltender Antoine Keller

  1. Anonymous says:

    Was hoping for Isogai from Youngstown but another goalie doesn’t hurt. Hopefully he’s there for rookie camp.

  2. hockeydruid says:

    Honestly if they resign Shepard this is probably waisted pick and they could have waited a year to draft a goalie. Dealing future picks when we have several good goalies was not necessary, yes even a 7th rounder.

    • novafyre says:

      Thanks. This pick baffled me as well. Maybe there’s going to be more goalie movement than we expect.

    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree. Goalies offer the most value in later round picks. Even if we don’t have room for him in the future, if we have that problem then we net more than a 7th to move him out because it means he can play.

    • Anonymous says:

      Even if Keller makes the NHL, it’ll be several years, by which time Shepard–who’ll be 28 in November–will probably be long gone.

      Plus…get as many prospects as you can. They drafted Holtby when they had Varly and Neuvirth in the system, and then they drafted Grubauer two years later. The Caps’ two best goalie prospects are 24, while their third goalie in the system–Bjorklund–is an unknown right now. Keller is 18–he won’t hit Stevenson’s or Gibson’s age for another 6 years.

      (Although, personally, I kinda wish the Caps got Aiden Fink, but one undersized forward is probably enough for them.)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes they do these 7th round deals to draft a son of somebody, a friend of a friend, a favor, but this doesn’t seem to fit the bill.

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