Washington general manager Brian MacLellan made no secret of his willingness to explore draft trades, whether to move the Capitals up or back in the order, but the league released the official 2014 order on Thursday afternoon, so here is where the team stands for now, with a brief look at their history for reach pick:
(Obviously, a more prudent exercise might be looking at the value other NHL teams have gotten from these picks, but we’ll get to that next week, once the draft draws closer. Consider this a trip down memory lane for those who remember Juha Nurmi going in the seventh round in 1982. For those looking for a summation, the Capitals have nine picks, tied for most in the league this season.)
Round 1, 13th overall
This marks the second time in franchise history that the Capitals have chosen 13th overall. Their first go-around netted Alexander Semin in 2002 at a slot taken from Dallas for the 26th and 42nd pick that season, and a sixth-rounder the following season. Since 2007, when the Capitals took Karl Alzner fifth, they have appeared in the top 20 just twice, both during in 2012 when they took Filip Forsberg at 11 and Tom Wilson at 16.
Round 2, 44th overall
The Capitals have never selected 44th in franchise history.
Round 3, 74th overall
In 1996, Washington drafted goaltender David Weninger out of Michigan Tech. He wound up playing 31 games during his only professional season and never reached the NHL. His biography lists him as an under-10 coach for the Team Houston Hitmen.
Round 4, 104th overall
No past picks here either.
Round 4, 118th overall (from Chicago via NY Islanders)
The lone return for Washington in the Jaroslav Halak deal – decent value, as colleague Neil Greenberg penned at the time – gives the Capitals an extra fourth-round pick at a slot they’ve picked three times.
In 2005, Washington took defenseman Patrick McNeill from the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit. In 2002, right winger Petr Dvorak from the Czech Republic was the selection. In 1998, defenseman Mike Siklenka was picked and wound up playing two point-less NHL games over his career. He’s still hanging around, though, spending last season – and the past three, for that matter — with Klagenfurt AC in Austria.
Round 5, 134th overall
No past picks here.
Round 6, 164th overall
Exactly three decades ago, the Capitals picked Regina Pats defenseman Frank Joo, who debuted with the WHL team in 1982-83, one season after current Washington head coach Barry Trotz was there. Joo spent four seasons with the Pats but never reached the NHL.
Round 7, 192nd overall (from Nashville)
Washington got this final-round pick from the Predators for defenseman Jaynen Rissling, a seventh-round pick himself in 2012. Defensemen David Johansson (1999) and Mark Sorenson (1988) were the previous draftees at this spot; neither made the NHL.
Round 7, 194th overall
Weirdly enough, the Capitals picked here in three straight seasons during the early 1980s. The best value came in 1981, as forward Chris Valentine wound up playing 105 NHL games for Washington and scoring 95 points. Defenseman Tony Camazzola (1980) and forward Juha Nurmi (1982) were the other picks.
>> The Florida Panthers pick first overall but are fielding offers for the pick. As the Japers’ Rink folks noted, though, the No. 1 pick has historically demanded quite the price tag in exchange, something MacLellan will have to weigh in considering such a splashy move.
“Every draft class we talk about that,” assistant GM and former director of amateur scouting Ross Mahoney said recently. “We have a look at whether we move up or even move back, depending on who’s there, who might be there when it’s our turn to pick. Those are things we’re still discussing as an organization. We’ve had meetings and we just finished doing the combine up in Toronto. We still some have more meetings to do. That’ll be part of our strategizing, to see if we should move up or we should move back or stay where we are.”
Per the team’s draft notes, the Capitals have made 20 draft-day trades and one in each of the past six seasons. Only two of those have netted Washington first-round picks in return, however.
>> Dallas picks 115th overall, a selection with a convoluted history. Originally, the pick belonged to Anaheim, which then sent it to Washington with John Mitchell for Mathieu Perreault. Then the Capitals shipped the pick back to the Ducks this March for Dustin Penner. Then, finally, Anaheim said to heck with it and swapped this pick, conditional at the time, to Dallas for Stephane Robidas.
This is the only pick in the 2014 NHL draft that previously belonged to Washington and does not anymore.