Dmitry Orlov is widely considered to be the Washington Capitals’ top prospect, and though his NHL career so far has been very short, he’s proven that he won’t be considered a prospect for very long.
Orlov was the 55th overall pick by the Washington Capitals in the 2009 NHL draft. He made his North American debut with the Hershey Bears on February 26, 2011. Unlike most European players, he has made a seamless adjustment to the North American style of hockey. He made his NHL debut on November 21, 2011 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Orlov’s greatest strength is his sheer athletic ability. He moves extremely well on the ice and he is able to create a lot of chances with his speed, agility, and raw power. His slap shot is very impressive, especially if you consider that he is relatively small for a defenseman, as he’s just 6’0″ and roughly 200 pounds (The Internet Hockey Database lists him at 195, the Capitals website lists him as 210). Orlov can dominate from the point on power plays with his slap shot, and he’s become more aware of what he needs to do to help his team win. He’s gone from shooting the puck virtually every time he touched it to being smart enough to fake the shot to create chances for his teammates. He is also very good at getting the puck out of his defensive zone.
Orlov, while he does have a ton of raw athletic ability, still needs to mature a little bit. His positioning on defense still needs some polishing, and he tends to take penalties. With all that being said, I am impressed by his maturity if you consider he’s barely 20 years old.
I don’t think Orlov is going to stay up for good… yet. It would be wise for the Capitals to send him down once Mike Green comes back. Plus, the Capitals want to keep him as long as possible. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get called up during a playoff run though. Orlov’s future is very bright, and I can’t wait to see what he can do. The sky is the limit with him.
For Orlov’s career stats, click here.