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.
Update 11:09pm: The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded D Zbynek Michalek to Phoenix for Harrison Ruoop, Marc Cheverie, and a 2012 3rd Round Pick.
Update 10:49pm: The Los Angeles Kings have selected Tanner Pearson with the 30th overall pick.
Update 10:45pm: The New Jersey Devils have selected Stefan Matteau with the 29th overall pick.
Update 10:38pm: The New York Rangers have selected Brady Skjei with the 28th overall pick.
Update 10:32pm: The Phoenix Coyotes have selected Henrik Samuelsson with the 27th overall pick.
Update 10:24pm: The Vancouver Canucks have selected Brendan Gaunce with the 26th overall pick.
Update 10:19pm: The St. Louis Blues have selected Jordan Schmaltz with the 25th overall pick.
Update 10:08pm: The Boston Bruins have selected G Malcolm Subban with the 24th overall pick.
Update 10:03pm: The Florida Panthers have selected Michael Matheson with the 23rd overall pick.
Update 9:56pm: The Pittsburgh Penguins have selected Olli Maatta with the 22nd overall pick.
Update 9:49pm: The Calgary Flames have selected Mark Jankowski with the 21st overall pick.
Update 9:43pm: The Philadelphia Flyers have selected Scott Laughton with the 20th overall pick.
Update 9:36pm: The Tampa Bay Lightning have selected G Andrey Vasilevski with the 19th overall pick.
Update 9:30pm: The Chicago Blackhawks have selected Teuvo Teravainen with the 18th overall pick.
Update 9:24pm: The San Jose Sharks have selected Thomas Hertl with the 17th overall pick.
The Washington Capitals have selected RW Thomas Wilson with the 16th overall pick.
Update 9:12pm: The Ottawa Senators have selected D Cody Ceci with the 15th overall pick.
The Buffalo Sabres have selected C Zemgus Girgensons with the 14th overall pick.
The Dallas Stars have selected C Radek Faksa with the 13th overall pick.
The Buffalo Sabres have selected C Mikhail Grigorenko with the 12th overall pick.
Update 8:45pm: The Washington Capitals have selected RW Filip Forsberg with the 11th overall pick.
Update 8:35pm: The Tampa Bay Lightning have selected Slater Koekkoek with the 10th overall pick.
Update 8:25pm: The Winnipeg Jets have selected Jacob Trouba with the 9th overall pick.
Update 8:12pm: The Pittsburgh Penguins have selected Derrick Pouliot with the 8th overall pick.
Update for trades: The New York Islanders have acquired D Lubomir Visnovsky from Anaheim for a 2nd round pick in 2013.
The Washington Capitals have acquired C Mike Ribeiro from Dallas for C Cody Eakin and a 2012 2nd round pick.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded C Jordan Staal to Carolina for C Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumolin, and the 8th overall pick in 2012
Update 8:04pm: The Minnesota Wild have selected Mathew Dumba with the 7th overall pick.
Update 7:56pm: The Anaheim Ducks have selected Hampus Lindholm with the 6th overall pick.
Update 7:47pm: The Toronto Maple Leafs have selected Morgan Rielly with the 5th overall pick.
Update 7:41pm: The New York Islanders have selected Griffin Reinhart with the 4th overall pick.
Update 7:31pm: The Montreal Canadiens have selected Alex Galchenyuk with the 3rd overall pick.
Update 7:24pm: The Columbus Blue Jackets have selected Ryan Murray with the 2nd overall pick.
Update 7:15pm: The Edmonton Oilers have selected Nail Yakupov with the 1st overall pick.
Stay tuned to Rockthered.net tonight as Harry Hawkings and Andy Green are covering the Draft from the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. We will have coverage of the Capitals' first round picks and major trades.
With the NHL draft beginning Friday night, you probably know by now that the Capitals hold 11 picks in this year’s festivities, including two first round selections. Below, I try and prognosticate whom Washington will take with those two first round picks, as they are key to restocking the talent pool in the DC farm system.
11th Overall Selection – From Colorado (Acquired July 2, 2012)
Option A: Jacob Trouba, D, USNTDP (USHL) – There is little chance that Trouba falls this far, but teams go off the reservation with top ten picks every year and it is possible that Trouba falls all the way to the Capitals at #11. The Michigan native is a big, strong, mobile defenseman who likes to model his game after Shea Weber and can move the puck. He would be a steal.
Option A-1: Radek Faksa, C, Kitchener (OHL) – Faksa is projected as low risk, medium to high reward player who will be a steady if unspectacular NHL contributor as a second line center the Capitals have craved for so long. Faksa can score, play defense, cycle well, and even play on the penalty kill, and would be a great pickup for the Capitals here. There is little that is missing from his game, and he would probably take one season to get to DC; regardless, adding depth at the center position is essential for the Caps at this moment. He is the most likely pick for George McPhee to make here in my book.
Option B: Cody Ceci, D, Ottawa (OHL) – Ceci doesn’t fill the Caps’ need for a center, but if Faksa is gone, Ceci would be a good pick here. He is big enough and strong enough to contribute right away, and can both run a power play and play a solid defensive game. He could look really nice next to Dmitry Orlov; he and DC’s young Russian defenseman would be a hell of a second pairing behind Karl Alzner and John Carlson (in about 4 years).
NOTE: Center Mikhail Grigorenko, who plays for Quebec in the QMJHL, has been predicted recently to fall outside of the top 10 despite being ranked in the top five for most of the season. Should that happen, it is certainly possible that the Capitals draft him - probably likely because of McPhee's penchant for Russians. But he is a flight risk, and with Evgeny Kuznetsov staying in Russia for at least two years, it would be hard for the Caps to compensate for their two best prospects not coming to play in America.
16th Overall Selection – Washington’s own
Option A: Brendan Gaunce, C, Belleville (OHL) – This may be a bit of a stretch for Gaunce, as most have him going in the 20s or even past 25th overall – but then again, some have him going as high as 13th overall. The bottom line with Gaunce is that he is a leader, on and off the ice. Scouts think he has all of the leadership qualities you want in a young player and potentially future captain. He’s also pretty good at hockey; he can score and play defense and, like Faksa, is viewed as an NHL second line center. One weakness, according to an OHL scout, is his skating – but that will get better with time he continues to develop and is a small hole in an otherwise very solid player. I would love to get him here and so should McPhee.
Option B: Zemgus Girgensons, C, Dubuque (USHL) – If Gaunce is gone, I still expect McPhee to take a center. Giregensons is a Latvian but has spent the last several years playing in America, so there should be little concern about him jetting to Europe or adapting. He profiles as a solid two way center as has been compared to Ryan Kesler by some scouts; though that is probably a bit much he is a good player. One red flag: some scouts have questioned if he can be a true elite second line center. But his basement is a third liner by most accounts and he is a very energetic player.
Option C: Sebastian Collberg, LW, Frolunda (Elitserien) – Collberg fits the George McPhee pedigree of a skilled speedy scoring winger. He is flashy and has some unbelievable moves, but the return may not come for a couple of years as Collberg both wants to stay in Sweden and probably is not yet ready for the big time. I don’t think this pick is overly likely, but certainly possible.
Option D: Tom Wilson, LW, Portland (OHL) – Tom Wilson is a monster of a man, almost 6’5” and over 200 pounds. He is ruthless power forward who plays like Milan Lucic – and even though I hate Lucic and everything he represents, the Caps may benefit from having a player like him. I don’t think this is very likely because it’s a bit of a reach, but it’s certainly a possibility.
We will be live from Pittsburgh for both days of the draft. Follow me on Twitter here for all of your news needs leading up to, during, and after the draft.
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!
The Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League have announced the hiring of Dean Evason as their head coach for the 2012-13 season. The Admirals, the primary minor-league affiliate of the Nashville Predators, finished second in their division this season and lost in the first round of the playoffs. They were in need of a new head coach when Kirk Muller left to take over the Carolina Hurricanes mid-season.
Evason moved on after he was told he was no longer a candidate for the Washington Capitals head coaching vacancy. He had spent seven seasons as an assistant under three different head coaches. This marks the second time Predators General Manager David Poile has hired Evason, as Poile also drafted the Winnipeg native to play for the Capitals in 1982.
Evason played the first 17 games of his NHL career in Capitals red, white, and blue. All told, "Deano" played 803 NHL games over 13 seasons with Hartford, Dallas, San Jose, and Calgary, and his playing career also included stops in the AHL, Switzerland, and Germany. Upon retiring from playing in 1999, Evason immediately stepped behind the bench as head coach of the WHL Kamloops Blazers. He took over the Vancouver Giants in 2002 and also spent a season with the Calgary Hitmen in 2004-05 before joining the Caps' coaching ranks.
During Evason's junior coaching career, he coached future Washington Capitals Shaone Morrisonn and Tyler Sloan in Kamloops and Jeff Schultz and Karl Alzner in Calgary. He also coached future NHLers Ryan Getzlaf, Andrew Ladd, Scottie Upshall, Erik Christensen, Gilbert Brule, and Jared Aulin.
Best of luck, Deano.
As the 2011-12 season has come to a close, the time has come to evaluate what it meant for the Capitals, both as a team and as individuals. As such, as the summer progresses, I will be writing a report card, or individual evaluation, for each player who played in 9 (~10%) of the team's games, or 4 playoff games. Next up is center Nicklas Backstrom, who finished his fifth NHL season, all with the Capitals, on this past year's campaign.
Season Summary: Marred by a concussion that caused him to miss 40 games between early January and late March, Backstrom's 2011-12 campaign was very good nonetheless. Playing in 42 games, Backstrom was the only Capital to average more than a point per game and led the team in scoring for more than a month after he was hurt on January 3rd - it took Alex Ovechkin that long to catch him. All told, the Swedish pivot had 14 goals, 30 assists, 24 penalty minutes, and a minus-four rating. The bad rating was fueled by the fact that he was both unlucky (PDO of 986, fourth worst among Capitals forwards), and the fact that Capitals goaltenders only had a .900 save percentage when he was on the ice (second worst among forwards). Backstrom was also one of only five Washington forwards to have a positive corsi rating for puck possession at 3.76, though he did it against very soft minutes. Grade: A-
Role Play: Coming off a very poor (by his standards) 2010-11, Backstrom was the Capitals' best player when he was healthy, producing steadily offensively and playing reliable defense as Washington's only above-average center. His injury was obviously a huge loss for the Capitals, and with him out of the lineup, the team struggled mightily, but it't not in any way his fault that Rene Bourque decided to behead him. In short, when he was able to lace them up, Nicky was a monster, which is what I expected - he's too good a player to be as average as he was two seasons ago. Grade: A
Playoffs: Backstrom played in 13 playoff games and was second on the team in playoff scoring with two goals, six assists, and a plus-two rating. One of his goals was a game winner, in game two against the Bruins, and it was actually his suspension for cross checking Rich Peverley that led to Mike Knuble being inserted to the lineup - which helped DC win their series against Boston. Backstrom was also the only (!!!) Capitals forward to have a positive puck possession rating in the playoffs at 0.27 - and this time, he did it against middle of the pack competition instead of easy competition. Overall, I was impressed by a player who only played in four regular season games after a concussion before starting postseason play. Grade: A-
Future Potential: Now 24, Backstrom has become the best player on the Capitals, replacing Alex Ovechkin. There is nothing that Nick cannot do - he can score, pass, run a power play, play defense, win faceoffs at a respectable clip, and possess the puck. He is reliable, smart with the puck, and if the Caps are to win a Cup in the next eight years, he will be right at the center of it as the best and most complete player on the roster (pending a trade for one of the top 10 players in the NHL). For his skill set and reliability, Backstrom's contract (eight more years at $6.7 million per) is a good value for all that he brings, too. The only variable is the possible recurrence of concussion symptoms, which - as we all know from watching Sidney Crosby - are volatile and unpredictable. Grade: A
The next and final report card will feature winger and captain Ovechkin.
As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.
The big day is near.
With the end of June right around the corner, the day Caps fans have been eagerly waiting for is near. It’s going to be amazing. People will talk. Money will be spent. Lives will change.
After June 30th, nothing will be the same around here.no comments
Are you interested in becoming a professional sports writer? Want to enhance your resume by covering professional hockey as a credentialed reporter?
Rock the Red is seeking 2-3 local college students to intern with us for next hockey season. Successful applicants will have strong writing skills, a good knowledge of sports in general and hockey in particular, and a desire to become a professional sports writer.
-Be enrolled at a Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area college or university. Writers will be expected to cover 12-20 Capitals home games and home practices.
-Be a rising sophomore or higher and must have passed English 101 and Journalism 101 or equivalents.
-Prior sports writing experience is preferred.
-Application must include a resume, a college transcript, a cover letter stating your college plans and career goals, contact information for 2 references (professors or editors), and 3 writing samples. Please do not include your student number or social security number in your application.
Applicants will be rated upon materials provided and will be contacted for interviews this summer.