Fresh off of the first Stanley Cup in franchise history, the Washington Capitals have already lost their head coach but own the No.31 and No.46 overall picks in the first two rounds.
The Capitals’ prospect pool isn’t overly exciting. Their top prospect is unquestionably goaltender Ilya Samsonov. The 21-year-old was the No.22 overall pick in the 2015 draft and wrapped up another great year in the KHL. Over the last two seasons, the Russian goalie has gone 27-12-6 with a 2.23 GAA, .931 SV% and five shutouts in 53 games with Magnitogorsk Metallurg. Their other top prospects are defensemen. Lucas Johansen is a mobile two-way defenseman who posted 27 points (6G / 21A) in his first season with Hershey (AHL) and Jonas Siegenthaler is a big (6-foot-3, 220 lbs.) Swiss defensive-defenseman who has drawn comparisons to current Capitals’ blueliner Brooks Orpik.
With the No.31 Overall Pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Washington Capitals select…
Alexander Alexeyev — LHD — Russia ????????
The Capitals likely want to add a forward at No.31, but if Alexeyev is there, they probably won’t pass on him. Alexeyev has excellent size (6-foot-4, 196 lbs.) but moves well and has a powerful point-shot.
The Capitals won the Cup with Russians as the backbone of their team—Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitri Orlov. They’ve never been afraid to draft Russians, like some other teams, and Alexeyev is an import that is already in North America.
Alexeyev led all Red Deer Rebels (WHL) defensemen in points, scoring seven goals with 30 assists (37 points) in just 45 games. That put Alexeyev on an 11-goal, 48-assist (59 points) per 72-game pace if he would have stayed healthy. That would have ranked him third on the team in points or tied for 13th among WHL defensemen.
“Underrated two-way defender with size who can either slow a game down or speed it up. Alexeeyev is very active in the offensive zone and uses his quick first step and elusiveness to sneak into the high slot with regularity.” — Steve Kournianos (SportingNews)
“He missed a lot of time last year due to a knee injury, so we were erring on the side of caution when starting him as a B-rated player… In my last viewing, he must have played 35 minutes in a game that Red Deer won in overtime. He’s a real solid player in all aspects of the game. He has the size and is a skater who can carry the puck and gain the zone. He makes good passes, has a good stick defensively.” — John Williams (NHL Central Scouting)