August 31-in-31: Washington Capitals

Pat Quinn

2017-08-30

 

What an ……. off season for the Capitals.

First it was another disappointing exit at the hands of the Penguins (sorry for mentioning), then resigning the 2015-2016 astronomically high percentage shooter Oshie and as a result trading a younger player on a better contract for picks, doing not enough to keep Nate Schmidt from Vegas, not moving Grubauer (yes I know the market is saturated; more on this below), and not buying out Orpik (where in all likelihood a buy out next off season makes much more sense cap wise).

At least they got the RFA players they needed signed and have many openings for young players to step into! Here is a look at the current roster with question marks being the open slots:

Forward:

Ovi-Backstrom-Oshie

Burakovsky-Kuznetsov-???

???-Eller-Connolly

???/DSP/Graovac-Beagle-Wilson

13th F: Graovac/DSP/???

Defense:

Orlov-Niskanen

Carlson-???

Orpik-???

7th D: Chorney

Goalie: Hotbly

Back-up: Grubauer

As you see there are at least three forward and two defense spots open.

 

******

Top 10

#1 Jakub Vrana

The most skilled Caps prospect has nothing left to prove in the AHL but needs to improve his attitude if he is going to stay in the professional league.

 

#2 Ilya Samsonov

One of the top goalie prospects to own in keeper leagues, currently playing in the KHL but unlike Shestyorkin and Sorokin he will likely be in North America by the 2018-2019 season as said he has no problem starting in the AHL. Twitter:

 

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ilya Samsonov to <a href="https://twitter.com/DariaTuboltseva">@DariaTuboltseva</a>: I'm ready to play in the AHL if it's needed. Goalie should play all the time, it's not a step back</p>&mdash; Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) <a href="https://twitter.com/IgorEronko/status/895640160255266818">August 10, 2017</a></blockquote>
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{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Ilya Samsonov to <a href="https://twitter.com/DariaTuboltseva">@DariaTuboltseva</a>: Talked to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Caps?src=hash">#Caps</a>, it was a positive dialogue. There're 5-6 goalies in the system I need to outplay</p>&mdash; Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) <a href="https://twitter.com/IgorEronko/status/895639702056955905">August 10, 2017</a></blockquote>
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#3 Christian Djoos

He broke out last year with 58 points in 66 games after posting 22 points in 62 games the previous year. The added responsibility and ice time last season as the (mostly) only healthy Hershey defenseman really helped show the potential he could reach. Opportunity is always needed for smaller players and he got his last season.

 

#4 Travis Boyd

All he did was lead the Bears in points during his second full AHL year. It was an improvement of 10 points from the 2015-2016 season in the same amount of games, and he increased his playoff points per game as well. 

 

#5 Riley Barber

A wrist injury derailed a majority of Barber’s 2016-2017 season, but he managed to keep around the same points per game average and improved his shots per game as well. Again he had a poor playoff showing, the second post season in a row; he really needs to step up his post season production to reach the next level.

 

#6 Connor Hobbs