As Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee prepares for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this Friday, he must figure out what to do with his league-high 11 draft picks. He has two in the middle of the first round (11th and 16th), which will be aired on the NBC Sports Network on Friday at 7pm. Keep an eye out for Rock the Red writers Andy Green and Harry Hawkings, as we will be at CONSOL Energy Center covering the event.
Looking back, McPhee has come full circle. His first NHL Entry Draft at the helm of the Washington Capitals was in 1997, also in Pittsburgh. The team was in a state of flux with a new coach, a new system, and new expectations. McPhee used the 9th overall pick on a defenseman who played over 600 NHL games, played in the NHL All-Star Game, and won a Stanley Cup. Of course, Nick Boynton re-entered the draft in 1999 and never played a game for Washington, but McPhee showed then that he sure knew how to pick 'em.
Boynton was the first of McPhee's 126 draft picks, and it certainly won't be the last. Over the course of the next few days, we will preview several likely prospects the Capitals may take in the first 3-4 rounds of the draft. In these previews we will discuss:
Just what can this guy do, anyway?
Where did he play and how did he do?
What does he project to be in the NHL and how does that fit into the Capitals' plans?
Will the Capitals draft him?:
Will he still be available when the Capitals draft? Based on George McPhee's history, is he a likely target?
Plans for next season:
Assuming the Capitals draft him, what's the plan for next year, and what's his road to the NHL?
Keep an eye out for your future Capitals!