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HFNHL Washington Capitals Top 25 Prospects

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07-09-2012, 02:03 AM
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HFNHL Washington Capitals Top 25 Prospects

Washington Capitals Top Prospects

Organizational Strengths:

Boom or Bust Offensive Prospects
Tremendous Depth on the Wing

Organizational Weaknesses:

Lack of top flight defensive depth
No real "Goaltender of the Future"
Superstar quality forwards

1. RW Brett Connolly
Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) 68-4-11-15
Team Canada U20

Connolly had an up and down season in his first NHL campaign and the organization was up front about saying that the decision to keep him elevated wasn't the best choice for his development. However, as the season progressed it became more and more apparent that Connolly is going to be an NHL scoring line player. Late in the season Connolly had a stretch of games where he scored 6 points in 10 games and his icetime hovered around the 15 minute per game mark. Connolly still remains one of the most interesting prospects in hockey regarding his scoring upside. Connolly still has to prove that staying healthy over a full campaign is a probability as his minutes will continue to increase with the big team. Expect an increased role with Tampa Bay this season.

2. D Duncan Siemens
Saskatoon Blades (WHL) 57-6-22-28

Defenders that possess the skill set of Siemens are incredibly difficult to find. However, players that suffer what appears to be regression at the Junior level are difficult to gauge. While it has been long since understood that Siemens would be a strong skater with a big body and physical presence, the offense that is expected of a Top 15 draft pick has not come along as anticipated. While Siemens is still incredibly young, 18 years of age at the time of this writing, next season will be an important barometer of his future potential as he enters his final season in the CHL. Those who like him see Adam Foote in his game.

3. C Alexander Khokhlachev
Windsor Spitfires (OHL) 56-25-44-69
Team Russia U20

Khokhlachev was one of the youngest players available in the 2011 NHL draft and despite all the negatives against him with the "Russian Factor", and safer options on the board, he was still able to land 40th overall to the Boston Bruins. The relationship between Khokhlachev and his native KHL team Spartak Moscow is incredibly strong and Khokhlachev recently signed a 3 year entry level deal with the Bruins as well as a 1 year deal with Spartak to play in the KHL next season. Khokhlachev has elite playmaking ability and incredible hockey sense. Scouts feel that while his skating is just adequate, his puck skills more than compensate for his deficiencies. Defense is additionally a challenge for Khokhlachev, but all indications show him as very coachable and receptive. Picked up in exchange for Matt Puempel in a 1 for 1 trade, Washington is excited to follow his progress.

4. C Zack Phillips
St. Johns Sea Dogs (QMJHL) 60-30-50-80

Zack Phillips is another high powered offensive forward with skating issues that may hinder his ultimate upside. There exists no question that Phillips was an integral part of a St. Johns team that has gone to two consecutive Memorial Cup tournaments. Phillips and the rest of the Sea Dogs squad took their game to new heights in the QMJHL playoffs. Phillips posted an amazing 32 points in 17 games. Phillips vision and passing ability should play well at the professional level and he has an outside chance of making the Minnesota roster straight out of camp this year, but chances are better he goes to the Houston Aeros with friend and teammate Charlie Coyle to get some experience before Minnesota makes room for them with the big team.

5. LW Carter Ashton
Toronto Marlies/Norfolk Admirals (AHL) 63-21-17-38

Carter Ashton picked up his first taste of NHL action this year with the Toronto Maple Leafs and was held pointless in 15 games with the NHL team while sporting a -10 rating. Despite this unimpressive debut, the budding power forward should be a contender to make the Leafs out of camp this year with a strong preseason and an extra offseason of physical development which is so important for a player his size. Ashton has strong hands for a player his size and again, like many of the Capitals prospects, skating is said to be an issue. However, the style of game that he plays will lend itself very well to an NHL career. The only question is how strong of a future will it be?

6. F Shane Prince
Ottawa 67's (OHL) 57-47-53-90

After an early season snub by Team USA for the U20, Shane Prince began to light up the scoreboard in the fashion that 67's fans have become accustomed to out of this slick skating playmaker. While it might be a bit excessive, it's not outside the realm to say that Prince has a bit of Pat Kane to his game stylistically. He will attempt to prove his doubters wrong as he starts his professional career next season with the Senators. Unfortunately for Prince, the Senators are fairly stacked with wingers and icetime in the NHL will be tough to come by in his debut professional season, but if he continues to score the way he knows how, then the depth will not matter. Prince is as enticing of a scoring prospect as Washington has in the system.

7. D David Savard
Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) 31-2-8-10

There have been few defenders that have ascended from the 2009 NHL draft with the quickness that David Savard has. The former 4th round pick has been a success at every level he has ever played and that rise didn't stop when he reached the NHL last season for Columbus. Savard is known for an incredibly solid defensive game, reliable offensive production, but unfortunately a less than average skating game that may hinder him from reaching his ultimate potential as a Top 4 defender in the NHL. With the depth on the Columbus blueline in the NHL, Savard is expected to challenge for either the 6th defensive position or the status of first call up this upcoming season. The battle between Savard and John Moore for who sticks in the NHL this season will be interesting to watch.

8. C Andy Miele
Portland Pirates (AHL) 69-16-38-54

One of the more coveted UDFA players in last year's crop, Miele positioned himself well with an incredibly strong start to the season in his AHL debut and even earned himself a brief 7 game call up in which he was held pointless. However, as the season wore along it became more and more obvious that fatigue was becoming a factor in his game. With the departure of Ray Whitney and potentially Shane Doan from Phoenix, coupled with the unfortunate offseason life threatening incident regarding Brett MacLean, the room for a slick skating and offensively creative and undersized player like Miele exists. If he can take advantage of this opportunity, it is incredibly likely he will be an NHL regular as soon as next year. The former Hobey Baker winner and AHL All-Star in his first season looks to build upon his success at every level.

9. Michael Sgarbossa
10. Christian Thomas
11. Magnus Hellberg
12. Scott Glennie
13. Zac Dalpe
14. Scott Wedgewood
15. Markus Granlund
16. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault
17. Dominik Uher
18. Jesse Blacker
19. Brendan Shinnimin
20. Mark Alt
21. Michael Chaput
22. Leland Irving
23. Josh Shalla
24. Rasmus Bengtsson
25. Brandon Kozun

HM: Austin Levi, Rob Czarnik, Ryan Button, Philippe Cornet, Simon Hjalmarsson

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07-09-2012, 03:56 AM
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Zack Phillips was also the team's MVP this year. He accomplished alot.

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07-09-2012, 06:09 AM
Ohio Jones
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The strongest group this franchise could boast in many, many years Josh. Here's hoping a good number of them pan out for you.

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