Discussion in 'Washington Capitals' started by Langway, Jan 23, 2018.
Too early to say that, the prospects haven't had the time to prove themselves yet.
Kotkaniemi will most likely be gone before our take, but i have all fingers and toes crossed he drops for us. Would be great to see a Finn after such a long time, and even more great to see a kid from hometown on a Caps uniform.
He is still quite raw to judge entire potential though. My early judgement says he might be somewhat comparable to Burakovsky. But we will be a lot wiser of that after a year when his had another year of pro-hockey in FEL. This year he had pretty good rookie season as a 17- year old, not really a superstar guy but has good tools to work with. Bounced around the lineup in 2-3 lines with PP time and finished up with 10 goals and 18 assists.
Although even if he drops to us, i can see us drafting a goalie anyways..
Right. And he hasn't had any high first round picks.
I don't think there's much of a threat for that this year. Another defenseman seems like the bigger threat given the draft field.
Given that they're in pretty good position to win the division now, I doubt Kotkaniemi falls to them. At 25 it seems more it could be a choice between the likes of maybe Kravtsov & Denisenko if they fall due to the Russian Factor, McIsaac, Groulx, Woo, Lundkvist, McBain, Bokk and maybe a couple of OHL centers like Dellandrea and Foudy. If there's one big skilled wild card it's Ryan Merkley. Bob McKenzie still had him at 11 in his mid-term rankings but ISS has had him out of the first round the past few months. He'd be a really dynamic RD project but with a lot of growing up to do. He may be the most interesting player in the draft in terms of skill level but also a fair amount of baggage that comes along with it.
I have to think there's still one team out there who loves Merkley enough to pounce on him before the Caps pick. You don't get drafted because you're the "consensus" pick, you get drafted because a specific team likes you.
Personally, the talent and upside is obvious. But I have the fear that he ends up more like Jonathan Blum than Kris Letang. Hopefully he can translate to the next level.
I think the main comparison is DeAngelo, who went fairly high all things considered but is already on his third NHL team at 22. No questioning the skill but he's been a pretty questionable teammate and doesn't seem to have much interest in defending (or leading all-around). There are a lot of maturity questions, which is increasingly rare to find even if these are just 18 yos. I'd peg him for maybe one of the teams with two first rounders like Ottawa (assuming they keep theirs), Philadelphia or NYR. They can more easily afford to take on the risk. I'd venture he still goes considerably later than his raw skill level would warrant (mid-first at worst).
This draft seems to open up around the early 20's and there will be a wider group considered than just those I mentioned. There are bound to be some that fall compared to more of a consensus view but there also seem to be more first round worthy types than usual. Best, more realistic case I'd hope for one of MSamuelsson, Miller, the two Russian wingers, Sandin or McLeod to fall. That group seems like the edge of what could be one of those more typical late first round hits for them.
Is there any known attitude/baggage issues with Merkly that are comparable to DeAngelo? I'll admit I haven't followed Merkley as closely as others, so maybe I'm just missing something there. I remember DeAngelo being suspended multiple times by both Sarnia and the OHL for his conduct (using slurs, harassing officials, etc).
He was suspended three games about a month ago for tomahawk chopping a player and was healthy scratched a few weeks back. He reportedly routinely displays poor body language when teammates don't finish plays he sets up. He sort of bails on plays at times when they don't go his way. Couple that with a pretty lackadaisical defensive attitude in general and it's probably a more suspect list of negatives than anyone in the draft. He's going to be relatively high maintenance unless he happens into luck an ideal fit and get his head straight. Even then who knows how well he develops in junior in the meantime. Some team will take the plunge but I'd probably pass unless all six of that group I mentioned are gone and they don't believe options like Bokk, Lundqvist, Woo, Groulx and others present enough upside.
In an interview with Kravtsov's father, he mentions his son's dream to play with the Caps alongside Ovechkin & Kuznetnov. His KHL playoff performance is probably making that a trade up scenario at best.
I was going to say... hasn't Kravtsov set records in the KHL playoffs this year? Not a great scenario if we're hoping he falls to us.
We'll be picking before Yzerman.
Yeah but teams like CBJ, NYR, PHI, DAL, SJS, MIN & STL probably can't be ruled out as willing to draft a Russian early and that's what may stand in the way. Maybe Denisenko falls instead but I don't think he's very far off from being a mid-20's pick anyway.
I do wonder with the FLA second rounder being increasingly a mid-40s pick whether they're more inclined to use it to move up should there be a player that slides. Or maybe there's a tier cut-off that makes sense to not lose out on. I think there's just enough depth to where they ought to stay put at both spots but we'll see.
Who is this year’s Alex DeBrincat? I.e. the guy who inexplicably drops way below where he should be drafted because of “size concerns”?
Can't say about bringing cat, but Kravtsov can be this year's Kuznetsov. Kuzya had to be picked way higher, if not the Russian factor. So why not Kravtsov as well? Most NHL teams are still afraid to spend high picks on Russian players.
I don't think there is one in terms of an otherwise top 20-40 talent. There are a couple of shorter defensemen (Hughes, Addison) but they're at least ranked where they ought to be otherwise.
Kuznetsov didn't do against men what Kravtsov is doing currently in his draft year. The one factor in favor of him dropping is that he has basically zero international exposure over the past couple of seasons where he'd have gotten exposure with different scouts. The bulk of the scouting on him will be based on the MHL/VHL/KHL exclusively. There's video available for video scouting some of that but he's probably also going to look very appealing to teams that do some boxcar type analytics. He's also probably the only main high-end goal-scoring or scoring-line winger threat this year after Svechnikov, Zadina, Tkachuk and Wahlstrom (who should all go top ten). That should further help him stand out more than he otherwise might in a more diverse secondary group that's less full of mainly centers and defensemen.
This would perhaps suggest an intent on restocking the forward ranks with their first two picks. They've always tended to stick with BPA, though, and it's is a D heavy draft. Again, I wouldn't be surprised if they packaged their first two picks to move up and land one of the more skilled forwards in the late teens range.
That being said. Trading up to draft a skilled forward is absolutely pointless if Trotz gets a new contract.
It depends on the strengths of the skilled forward. If they're defensively trustworthy and physically mature they'll have a far easier time gaining his trust. Otherwise? Yeah, dicey. But I don't think there's a very good chance he returns. He has to get over the hump for that to happen and they're not exactly engineered for it unless they get fantastic goaltending. Plus, he's very likely to command a pretty healthy raise after the Q & Babcock contracts.
Those kinds of attributes, paired with lots of offensive skill tend to go in the top-10 of the draft pretty much always. Even more so now because the draft is D heavy and there are still teams that are desperate to add offense.
When paired with elite offensive upside, yes. But there could be some options like, say, Hayton, Veleno, Farabee or Olofsson that slide a bit due to perhaps some offensive upside concerns. They probably should attack the draft with that sort of strategy in order to counter the more flashy yet inconsistent play of 65/13 with more substance and leadership potential.
It could be a pretty interesting draft either way, particularly in light of what should be some goaltender movement. If they could manage to pull off a Schneider type trade up to 11 or 12 then the likes of Lundestrom, Kravtsov, Hayton, Veleno and the two Finns should be in the mix. Ideally, in terms of trading up altogether I think you'd want to target Tkachuk or Wahlstrom in that 6-10 range if at all possible. But between potentially moving a goaltender and trading up they could potentially reshape the forward pipelin pretty quickly. They could also (or alternatively) reshape the NHL forward mix a bit, although I think you'd want to wait to some extent and see how a new staff might mesh with everyone.
2018 NHL Draft: Fisher’s Top 100 Following Regular Season
Another draft riser: Czech RWer Martin Kaut. He had a productive playoff against men in the Czech league and is putting up points now playing for the men's national team. They could use an upside right shot so he'd fit something of a need. He's up to 17th in the latest ISS rankings.
The Caps are currently set to pick 28th as a division leader, subject to future playoff finish reshuffling, but the play of guys like Kaut is rounding out the first round pretty nicely IMO. There's a number of players outside of my top 31 that could make a case for the first round with a strong finish, including a number of likely Team Canada players at the U18s in two weeks. Another one that'll be at the U18s is Jake Wise, who was mentioned earlier. He's finished strong and a big U18s could perhaps push him into that late first round territory.
Czech RW Martin Kaut... Czech RW Martin Erat... too similar, pass.
If Trotz is still around I don't think you have to worry about him signing off on taking any Czechs, he apparently explodes if more than two are in a lineup at any one time.
Still leaning towards Noel, size and good hands.