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Capitals Off-Season Underway

2019-08-09

After a disappointing exit at the hands of the division rival Carolina Hurricanes in game 7 of round 1 of the playoffs, GM Mitchell headed into the off-season with a chip on his shoulder. "Obviously the first round exit is a tough pill to swallow, but it's driven us to be more active in the trade market and focus our efforts on improving this team in the here and now." Stated the GM. The Capitals had only a 1st & 3rd round picks in the draft this year, but ended up moving out the 3rd rounder at 88th overall with some prospects leaving them with only their 1st rounder at 26th overall.

 

2019 EHE Entry Draft:

 

Last season Washington had no 1st rounder after trading for Rick Nash. This season, the team only had the 1st rounder at 26th overall. And the team selected:

26th Overall:

C/RW Raphael Lavoie 6'4" 193 lbs - Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

2018-2019 Stats - 62GP 32G 41A 73P 31PIM +36

Lavoie has size & skill to burn, is a good skater, and is strong on the puck. He also possesses an NHL calibre shot, which allows him to score from distance. This all sounds like someone who should've been drafted higher right? Well the concern is consistancy from game to game. When he's on, he looks dominate. But when he's off, he can be invisible, which isn't what you want big kids like this to be.

Projection: Top 6 RW power forward. Likely debut would be the 2021-2022 EHE season as he'll spend another year in junior.

GM Notes: "I had a few other guys at the top of my list, but the fact this kid can play center or the right side made my mind up along with the playoff sucess he had last year in the Q."

 

The Trades:

 

The first trade was with the Montreal Canadiens new GM. The Capitals moved out prospects Adam Ruzicka, Otto Somppi & a 2019 3rd round pick (Later traded to Van: Max Veronneau) for winger Colin Wilson & center Cedric Paquette.

Colin Wilson LW/RW 6'1" 220 lbs: He's a former 1st round pick at 7th overall in 2007. His best year was in 2014-15 with the Predators where he scored 20 goals. He can play both wings and is versitile enough to play up and down a lineup in various roles. He's signed this season & next to a reasonable $2mil cap hit.

Cedric Paquette C/LW 6'1" 198 lbs: Paquette is a tough customer who isn't afraid to mix things up. His best year was probably last season where he potted 13 goals while being reliable defensively. He'll be an RFA at seasons end but will only be 26 and is a controlable asset for another year.

GM Notes: "We were mainly after a RW in this deal but were glad we could shore up the 4th line center position as well. I was high on both prospects leaving the organization but they were and still are gambles at this point."

 

The second trade saw the team move out young smooth skating defenceman Victor Mete to the New York Rangers for the big Tyler Myers and prospect Patrick Harper.

Tyler Myers D 6'8" 229 lbs: Myers is another former 1st round pick. His game has looked strong again after coming off an injury plagued year two seasons ago. He has a good shot and plays in all situations. He's slated to play in the teams top 4 with either Aaron Ekblad or Rasmus Ristolainen. He's a UFA at seasons end, so this is looking like a rental.

Patrick Harper C/W 5'7" 150 lbs: Harper has been regressing in college which usually is a bad sign, but when you consider how Boston U has regressed as a team the last two seasons it's not as alarming. He'll be wearing an "A" on his sweater this year and will turn pro at the end of the season. He's a skilled forward but works hard and should be able to handle 3rd & 4th line duties if asked.

GM Notes: "I am a fan of Mete even though his scoring is non-existant at the pro level, so moving him stings a bit. That said, we have a legit top 4 D that can be compared to the best in the league and managed to bring another prospect into the mix who has good upside. I think this ones a win win for both teams."

 

The teams next focus will be to get the RFA's signed prior to the start of the UFA signing period. The only big weakness appears to be a back-up for Vasilevskiy.