Position: Right Winger/Center
Born: 08/13/94, Ostervala, Sweden
NHL Central Scouting Rank: #1 European Skater
Player Pages: NHL - EP - HF
The Capitals' first pick in the NHL draft at 11th overall, Forsberg is a smart, conscientious hockey player who is solid in all three zones. He is creative in the offensive zone, but it is his physical frame and mental make-up that make him such a great prospect. He will be able to adapt to any system and have the size and strength to make his presence felt. He was the drive and skill to be a scorer, but it may take time for him to develop the confidence to try to do more in the offensive zone against tougher competition.
After a dazzling performance in international play over the summer and big numbers in juniors in 2010-11, Forsberg stepped up to play in the second men's division in Sweden, the Allsvenskan. While playing against grown men, Forsberg put up only 8 goals and 17 points, in 43 games, but his offensive play was somewhat reserved compared to his abilities. Forsberg also put up just one assist in 6 World Junior games, but it was excellent experience as one of the younger players in the tournament. He broke out again in the spring as captain of the silver medal-winning Swedish team with 5 goals and 7 points in 6 games, displaying the skill and confidence scouts had been waiting for all season long.
Forsberg projects to be a solid two-way forward who could play on any line. He is the safest forward pick in the draft as he will almost certainly play in the NHL and be able to play in any situation. If his offensive abilities blossom sooner rather than later, he will almost certainly be a top-line forward in the NHL.
Plans for next season:
Forsberg has already stated he'll be playing in Sweden another season, which is what will happen. He may come over to North America after next season, but if he has not advanced beyond the Allsvenskan by next season he may not be ready for the NHL. It is likely he'll spend another year in Sweden in the Elitserien or will come over to the AHL for a year before stepping up to the NHL. At soonest, he could play in the NHL by 2013-14, but it is more likely he'll be an NHL regular in 2014-15.
PITTSBURGH - The Washington Capitals have selected RW Austin Wuthrich with the 107th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Wuthrich has played the last two years with the USNTDP in Ann Arbor Michigan and like fellow Capitals draftee Thomas Di Pauli, is committed to play at Notre Dame. Also like Di Pauli, Wuthrich is a two way player who takes pride in his defensive ability and will need to work hard to make a real impact at the next level.no comments
PITTSBURGH - The Washington Capitals have selected C Thomas Di Pauli with the 100th overall pick in the 2012 Entry Draft.
Di Pauli is committed to play for the University of Notre Dame and classifies himself as a two way player who is good on faceoffs and can shut down the oppositions top players on every shift. The center was born in Italy, and noted that his family moved to America and made huge sacrifices for his hockey dream - including his father still travelling back and forth to Italy for his job. He recorded 11 points, including six goals, this past year for the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan.no comments
PITTSBURGH - The Washington Capitals have selected forward Chandler Stephenson 77th overall. Stephenson is currently playing Major Junior with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, where he skated with Capitals prospect and current Hershey Bear Garrett Mitchell. Stephenson is a center/left winger and had 42 points (20 goals) in 55 games for Regina this year. He stands 5'11" and weighs 190 pounds.
This pick adds more toughness and offensive wingers to the Capitals' farm system - even after adding two players similar to Stephenson on Friday night. He is a power forward who likes to play physical and is noted for having a very nice set of hands. But as with all third round picks, he is a project, and will spend at least the next two seasons playing in Regina.
Update: DeBlouw drafted 186th overall by Calgary.
Matt Gajtka is the Director of Communications for the USHL Muskegon Lumberjacks. He has profiled the Lumberjacks' Matt DeBlouw, a likely candidate to be drafted by the Capitals in the third or fourth round. The original story is here.
Matt DeBlouw spent the last two years with the Muskegon Lumberjacks building his reputation as a legitimate NHL Draft prospect. That work will likely come to fruition this weekend in Pittsburgh when he is projected to a be a mid-round selection Saturday at CONSOL Energy Center.
With the draft just days away (the first round will take place Friday night, with rounds 2-7 saved for Saturday), hockey observers are in the process of finalizing their evaluations of all relevant prospects. That list includes DeBlouw, 18, who will attend Michigan State University in the fall.
One person who already has an extensive mental file on DeBlouw is Assistant Coach Dave Noel-Bernier, who was part of the Lumberjacks staff when the 16-year-old center from Chesterfield, Mich., first arrived in Muskegon in the summer of 2010.
"His speed and skating ability are off the chart and he has the potential of being bigger and stronger still," said Noel-Bernier, who administers the Lumberjacks' strength and conditioning program in addition to his coaching and scouting duties.
DeBlouw certainly made Noel-Bernier proud with his impressive showing at the NHL Draft Combine last month, when he scored in the top 10 out of over 100 players in several fitness tests. His best result was a second-place finish on the Wingate bike, which measures leg power and is regarded as one of the most important tests at the annual combine.
Matt's combine breakout could give him a boost when NHL teams assess his place on their draft boards; in fact, his profile has been raised to a point at which it wouldn't be entirely surprising if he sneaked into the bottom of the second round.
|DeBlouw put up 33 points, including 11 goals, in 2011-12, his second USHL season.|
PITTSBURGH, PA – For the last four seasons, the Washington Capitals have lacked a center. Friday night in the City of Bridges, they may have finally plugged the hole.
George McPhee pulled off yet another coup, landing pivot Mike Ribeiro from the Dallas Stars for pennies – center Cody Eakin and the 54th overall pick in the 2012 Draft.
Ribeiro, 32, would seem to be the answer to the Capitals’ glaring hole at center. Standing 6’0”, the Montreal native had 18 goals and 45 assists this past season and has not scored fewer than 63 points in a full season over the last five campaigns.
“We wanted to add a little bit of skill to our lineup,” McPhee said. “I just didn’t like the way we played in the playoffs. We got some big, gritty forwards and we just wanted to put another guy in the middle of it to see if it helps. I think it makes our team immediately better.”
When asked if plugging the second line center hole was the top priority this offseason, McPhee simply responded, “Yes."
"We think he’s a 1 or 2 center in this league. I just felt like at some point this summer we wanted to add a skill guy, and if it was at center ice, that would be ideal.”
As usual, McPhee managed to add a player at a lower price than the market would seem to dictate. Only 15% of 2nd round picks in the last ten years have made a significant NHL impact – and Cody Eakin, who at one point was moved for eight assets in the Western Hockey League – was a small price to pay as his stock had recently fallen.
After making the trade for Ribeiro, McPhee wasn’t done. Following a number of teams going wild early in the first round and picking players not ranked in the top ten by many, the Capitals were presented with a golden opportunity: take a player ranked in the top five outside of the top ten selections. And the General Manager delivered, landing what many consider the steal of the draft at this early stage: Swedish winger Filip Forsberg.
“Well, of course it’s a big honor to get to go to the Washington Capitals and to be a part of their great organization,” Forsberg said. “So yeah, really looking forward to it. This is just the start of hopefully a good career.”
It was a no-brainer pick for the Capitals, who had one of the best players in the draft essentially fall into their lap. Forsberg was the top European skater ranked by basically every scouting service, and most mock drafts had him being selected in the top five.
“The scouts the table the scouts were unanimous,” McPhee said when asked about his thought process. “‘We have to take this guy, he’s a fantastic player. We have to take this guy.’”no comments
PITTSBURGH - With the 11th overall pick in the 2012 Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals have selected RW Filip Forsberg. Forsberg was the #1 ranked European skater according to NHL Central Scouting, but fell to the Capitals at 11th overall. He is the type of player who could contribute at the NHL level as early as 2013.
Forsberg produced 8 goals and 17 points in 43 Allsvenskan games with Leksand this season.
Ribeiro, 32, is a skinny playmaking center who was relegated to second-line duty this season in Dallas behind Jamie Benn. Ribeiro has been a consistent producer for Montreal and Dallas over the last 8 seasons. He will be expected to score near 20 goals and produce 40 assists next season with the Capitals. He is most decidedly the second-line center the Capitals have needed.
Eakin played 30 games for the Capitals last season as a rookie, posting 8 points. He was the Capitals' third-round pick in 2009. The Capitals second-round pick was the 54th overall selection. Update: Dallas used the 54th overall pick on Mike Winther.