HFNHL Capitals Post WJC Top 20 Prospect List

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Vagrant, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Vagrant

    Vagrant The Czech Condor

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    1. D Charlie McAvoy - At no point in our wildest estimation did we have McAvoy being as prolific as he has been to start his career. The fact that he's in the discussion for the Calder trophy and might pick up a few Norris votes is just a dream outcome for the Capitals, who have needed a number one defenseman since trading Drew Doughty for the right to draft John Tavares. Oddly enough, Doughty is exactly the player many mention when talking about McAvoy. Similarly, Doughty only once posted a season in excess of 10 point shares in his first 7 seasons, a number McAvoy is on pace to eclipse presently. McAvoy joins Jack Eichel and Connor Hellebuyck as the core that the Capitals hope will turn their fortunes around in the coming seasons.

    2. D Miro Heiskanen - Heiskanen has had an interesting season, mostly slowed by injuries, but with amazing flashes of what he is capable of bringing in the future. His WJC performance was overshadowed, rightfully, by Rasmus Dahlin's breakout tournament. Many were left wanting more from Heiskanen. It was revealed that he was struggling through a health issue during the games, which makes sense considering how dominant he had been in Liiga this season. Washington eagerly anticipates his transition to join fellow Dallas star defenseman John Klingberg on the blueline next season. The Capitals still believe in his franchise defender potential and along with McAvoy, expect this to be the projected primary pair for the team for the foreseeable future.

    3. D Brandon Montour - Montour is the 3rd piece of the Capitals rebranded defense, and the most offensively dynamic of the bunch more than likely. With 20 points in 44 games, it feels as if he's only scratching the surface of the production he is capable of achieving. Montour is a player unlike any in the organization with his offensive upside from the blueline and the Capitals hope that his early returns are just a preview of what is to be expected from him moving forward. He's an incredible skater and has elite offensive instincts. What has been more surprising has been his defensive acumen, which has taken large steps forward in recent years. It is believed that the NHL Ducks felt more comfortable moving on from Shea Theodore as well as Sami Vatanen as a result of having Montour in the pipeline in addition to their strong NHL presence.

    4. F Alex DeBrincat - The pint-sized scorer has transitioned well from being a once in a decade type finisher at the OHL level to taking his skills to Chicago. 28 points in 45 games in only 14:45 of TOI a night has been a positive showing for the first year professional. At this point it wouldn't be unrealistic to suggest that DeBrincat has elite level goal scoring upside and could be a yearly 25-30 goal scorer in the right situation. Washington views DeBrincat as an essential complimentary scoring forward for their top six as the rest of the roster matures.

    5. F Christian Fischer - Acquired in the trade for Nino Neiderreiter, Washington made an aggressive move to solidify their roster by picking up a player that stands to make them tougher to play against. The Capitals gave up elite prospect Jack Roslovic and Ryan Strome in exchange for Neiderreiter and Fischer. Part of the reason for this move was to make the Capitals tougher to play against and add a physical element and size to their team. Fischer has been an interesting case. He has 12 goals in 45 games this season and plays a crease crashing hard-nosed game that often sees him coming up with loose pucks in the crease. His natural scoring ability may be somewhat limited, but his effort and compete level should set him up for a decent NHL career.

    6. F Jeremy Bracco - Washington isn't as high on him as perhaps other sources, but Bracco has some interesting attributes that could make him a player down the line. Bracco was another dart in my "small but skilled" draft approach in the middle rounds and he's taking his time finding his place in the Marlies lineup. Despite this, notably Corey Pronman, still rates him incredibly high. This slotting is more deferential to their vision for his game than mine. These small players can really go either direction, much like Conor Garland who was once highly regarded by me.

    7. D Robert Hagg - Odd to have a defenseman getting 18:56 a night as 7th on your prospect list and behind some real question marks, but here we are. Hagg has been polarizing among the Flyers fanbase for his poor advanced stats but immense measurable stats. He leads the NHL in hits from the blueline with 159 in 46 games and 64 blocked shots. However, his CF% relative is -7.4 and his FF% is -6.9. He's also a +13. The story those stats tell are ...incomplete? Washington is keeping a watchful eye on his trajectory, but even if he tops out as a physical middle pairing defender, we feel good about that considering that Hagg was trending towards busting less than a season ago.

    8. F Alex Iaffalo - This is another odd situation for a player that is playing full-time NHL minutes, but you're not really comfortable with what that means for them. Iaffalo has been all over the Kings lineup this season. From playing wing with Kopitar to the 4th line and everywhere in between. 13 points in 44 games and a super mistake free and steady brand of hockey, but with very little by way of actual results. Either immense bad fortune or an immensely bad shot keep him at 3.5% on the season, which diminishes greatly an otherwise strong season. At 24, Iaffalo was a UDFA signing with not much time. Ideally, his showing with the Kings this year is enough to earn him a full time slot.

    9. F Alexander Khokhlachev - Your eyes did not deceive you with this name. While this might be an aggressive ranking for the one affectionately known as KoKo, it shouldn't be a surprising one if you followed his trajectory. It was pretty widely speculated that Khokhlachev was not a favorite of Michel Therrien in Boston. However, he was deployed universally in Providence by then head coach Bruce Cassidy. Cassidy, now head coach of the big club, is said to have interest in bringing Khokhlachev back to Boston to give the NHL another try. KoKo has been highly productive in the KHL this season with 45 points in 49 games. It would surprise me very little to see him in the NHL full time next season.

    10. D Cale Fleury - Defensemen playing on terrible teams have always been notoriously difficult to evaluate. During his time in Kootenay prior to the NHL draft, Fleury was a -111 in 201 games. Despite this, he was still a 3rd round draft pick. He's really starting to showcase some of the reasons why with a trade to Regina. 24 points in 28 games with a +16 rating. Fleury is still early in his development, but it wouldn't shock me to see him follow a similar trajectory to his brother. Reviews of his game have been really strong lately.

    11. F Blake Speers
    12. F Kevin Roy
    13. D Trevor Carrick
    14. F Justin Kloos
    15. F Graham Knott
    16. F David Cotton
    17. F Hudson Elynuik
    18. D Chase Priskie
    19. F Scott Reedy
    20. F Josh Wilkins

    HM: D Radim Simek, F Henrik Haapala, F Scott Eansor
     

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