Position: Right Winger
Born: 03/29/94, Toronto, Ontario
NHL Central Scouting Rank: #15 North American Skater
Player Pages: NHL - EP - HF - OHL
Tom Wilson is a big, strong, tough winger who thinks in straight lines. He takes the shortest route to the puck, often running through puck-carriers at high speed. He creates room for his linemates in the offensive zone and stands up for himself and teammates with his fists when necessary. He has good hands, is strong in the corners, has good speed, and has the mental make-up to be effective playing against large-bodied men. He is somewhat injury-prone with his playing style, but his work-ethic and stubbornness will allow him to recover quickly. He also has solid defensive acumen.
Wilson missed a big chunk of time with a broken knuckle suffered in a fight, but he was a demon on the ice when healthy. Wilson only posted 9 goals and 27 points in limited ice time for the OHL Plymouth Whalers, but his 141 penalty minutes speaks to his willingness to stick his nose where it isn't welcome and to get his hands dirty. His +17 shows he can keep the puck out of his own net, too. His offense came to light in the playoffs when he posted 7 goals and 13 points in 13 games to go along with a +10 rating and 39 PIM.
Wilson already plays with the reckless abandon of an NHL power forward. He is the type of player who can be useful on any line, but he is most likely to have a positive impact on a scoring line in need of a net-crashing presence and forechecker. Wilson will make the NHL in some role if he can stay healthy, it's just a matter of how good his offense will be and how long it will take.
Plans for next season:
Wilson will spend next season in the OHL where he will be expected to take on more responsibility. He may also get a look for Team Canada at the World Juniors. Wilson will probably spend a season in the AHL after that before splitting 2014-15 between the AHL and NHL. He will probably get the chance to be an NHL regular in 2015 on a scoring line, but his regular NHL duty may come sooner on a checking or energy line because of his size and versatility.
PITTSBURGH - Below is the transcript of the draft day interview with Filip Forsberg from last night.
Photo by Andy Green of Rockthered.net
What’s your initial reaction of going to Washington?
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 so, yeah, really looking forward to it.
What did you think when you saw your name on the board?
Well I guess it’s been a pretty busy season, with all the meetings with teams, so yeah, I’m kind of glad I’m done. This is just the start of hopefully a good career.
This would have been Colorado’s pick if they hadn’t made the trade, so maybe you’d have played with Landeskog and not Backstrom. How does that feel for you?
Well of course its glad to have some Swedes on the team. Anything can happen in NHL, whenever I can play in NHL maybe some Swedish players not there, maybe some new Swedes are there. Yeah, really looking forward to playing for the Capitals and hopefully with Nick.
How many years until you make the NHL? Will you stay in Sweden another year?
I have one year left on my contract back in Sweden, so yeah, that’s my plan for next year. Then I’m not sure, we’ll see, hopefully I can have a good season and then anything can happen.
What were your nerves like sitting there waiting to be drafted?
Well, I would lie if I say I wasn’t nervous. I was pretty nervous but I’m glad to have my family with me there. I guess they’re pretty proud of me. It was a good day for both me and also for them.
Do you know anyone on the Capitals?
You mean the players? No not really.
Have you crossed paths with any of them, like Marcus Johansson?
No. I haven’t played against any of the Swedish guys, unfortunately, but hopefully I will play with them in the coming years.
A couple scouts have compared your style to a North American game like Brendan Shanahan, do you think you play more a North American game than a European style game?
I’m a kinda big sized player, I’m try to play a bit physical and try to take the puck to the net. I guess that’s more of a North American style than a Euro style of game. Yeah a little bit. Hopefully I can bring that with me when the time is ready for me to come over.
What part of your game do you try to work on for next year?
You have to become stronger, and if I can make my skating a bit better, I think I could be an even better player. I try to work on those things. I’ve been practicing every it day, hopefully I can improve it.
How much do you know about the Capitals organization? How much have you watched any of their games in the past 2 years?
Well, I haven’t watched that much because it’s a bad TV time back in Sweden, because the games are on in the middle of the night. I will try to watch, they have some, some good seasons with some good draft picks playing good for the organization, so hopefully I can be a part of a winning team.
Any idea why you dropped out of the top 10?
It was a Dman draft this year, so, I’m very happy to be part of the Washington Capitals, yeah, I’m very excited.
Did you have any idea the Caps would draft you?
Well, I had a meeting at the combine with them, and also I have been talking a bit to their Swedish scouts [back in Sweden]. Yeah, a little bit.
Any disappointment for you in terms of where you went in the draft?
I don’t look at a disappointment at all. It’s like a dream coming true, being drafted. Hopefully I make the team in some years and I will be working hard to become a part of the Capitals organization in the coming years.
Is D.C. a place you anticipated going to?
It’s a happy moment when they called my name out.no comments
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