Every year, Hockey Prospectus makes a list of the top 100 prospects in hockey. This year, the Capitals have a trio of prospects on said list. Evgeny Kuznetsov is ranked 4th, 2012 first round pick Filip Forsberg is ranked 10th, and Stanislav Galiev is ranked 29th. Dmitri Orlov was ranked 71st last year. Braden Holtby was listed as the second best goalie prospect last year as well. As a whole, the Capitals farm system was ranked 14th in the NHL by Hockey Prospectus.
Steffen Søberg came into this season a relative unknown to most Capitals fans. If he keeps playing as well as he has so far this season, that won’t be true for long. Søberg recorded his first shutout of the season as he led Vålerenga to a 4-0 over Lillehammer IK. Søberg stopped all 26 shots, and once again showed off his improved positioning. His positioning took away any chances that Lillehammer had. Justin Donati got a hat trick for Vålerenga. So far on the season, Steffen has played in 3 games and has a GAA of 1.33 with a save percentage of 94.2%.
Vålerenga’s next game will be against Lørenskog on Saturday at 8:00 AM EST.
The Washington Capitals have announced that they have reached an agreement with the second of their first round picks, Tom Wilson. Wilson was drafted 16th overall by the Capitals. The contract is a standard three year NHL entry-level contract. He will earn $832,500 a year in the NHL, and $70,000 (with the potential for bonuses) in the AHL. I expect that he will spend at least a year in Hershey unless he wows everyone this season (which I wouldn’t be surprised if he did if he looks as good as he did in Development Camp). This contract will not go into effect until the 2013-2014 season, since Wilson has one year remaining on his current contract with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League.
Christian Djoos was drafted 195th overall by the Capitals in the 7th round of the 2012 NHL Draft. He is the son of Par Djoos, who briefly played in the NHL. He currently
Christian Djoos is a very intriguing prospect due to his size.
plays for Brynäs IF of the Elitserien league. Brynäs IF was also Nicklas Backstrom’s team.
POSITION: Defenseman. Shoots left-handed.
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5’11″/148 pounds
PLAYING CAREER: Djoos, after a successful junior career, has moved on to the Elitserien league. During his junior career, he averaged .76 points per game, which is very impressive for a defenseman. Here’s a list of some of the awards that he has won:
J18 Elitserien Best Plus/Minus (2010-2011)
J18 Elitserien Most Points by a Defenseman (27) (2010-2011)
J18 Elitserien Most Assists by a Defeseman (20) (2010-2011)
J18 Allsvenskan Best Defenseman (2011-2012)
PLAYING STYLE: Djoos, in case you didn’t guess, isn’t a very physical player, mostly due to his size (or lack thereof). Instead of strength, he relies on his speed, agility, and puck handling to move the puck up the ice. He is an offensive defenseman who loves to join the rush and loves to run the point. Defensively, he tends to rely on his speed, agility, and instincts rather than brute force.
STRENGTHS: Djoos is a fast, quick, and all-around exciting player to watch. He’s an excellent skater and is surprisingly sound defensively. Also, he is very good at holding the puck for someone his size, and it’s very hard to play him off the puck because he knows how to utilize his speed and agility. He’d be a valuable asset to any powerplay with his passing ability.
WEAKNESSES: Djoos is very undersized, to say the least. He needs to bulk up to a respectable weight if he wants to last in the NHL. If he gets to around 160-170, I’d feel a lot more confident about him. His defense also needs fine-tuning, especially since he’ll probably never be that big, meaning that he’ll have to be perfect as far as positioning.
PLAYER WHO HE REMINDS ME OF: Brian Campbell. Both are undersized, but both are very valuable offensive defenseman. The question is, can Djoos bulk up and play well enough defensively to be like Campbell? We’ll have to see.
ETA: 2014-2015. Still needs to develop quite a bit.
Stanislav Galiev is yet another Russian who will play for the Capitals in the near future. Galiev is a left wing, although the Capitals did have him taking faceoffs during
Stanislav Galiev has technically played for the Capitals before. This was from the pre-season game in Baltimore in 2011. He should be wearing a Caps jersey again soon. Photo courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America.
Development Camp this year, so a move to center might be in the future for him.
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6’0″/188 pounds
PLAYING CAREER:Galiev was born in Moscow, Russia. In 2008, Galiev made a bold decision and decided to take his talents to the USHL (United States Hockey League, which is the top junior hockey league in the United States) in order to better prepare himself for an NHL career. After an extremely impressive rookie season in which he was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team, he was the first overall pick of the CHL Import Draft, and was picked up by the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League). He has since continued to impress, amassing 144 points in just 151 regular season games and an eye-popping 80 points in just 57 playoff games.
PLAYING STYLE: Galiev is an extremely talented playmaker. He’s not only a goal scorer, he’s also more than happy to share the puck with his linemates. All-around, he’s a force to be reckoned with on offense. Definitely has first line potential.
STRENGHTS: The best thing Galiev has going for him is his decision making. Not only is he creative, but he makes extremely quick (and usually right) decisions. When you combine those two attributes, Galiev can be extremely difficult to cover if he’s on his game. He’s a very good skater, and despite his average size, is very hard to play off the puck due to his great balance. He’s never going to challenge for the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, but he should develop into a good enough scorer that teams have to respect his ability to score.
WEAKNESSES: Galiev has to work on finishing, especially if he wants to continue to be a wing (which is what he prefers to play). He shoots the puck quite a bit, but he doesn’t score as much as he should. If he works on his shot accuracy, he could emerge into a 30+ goal a year threat. He also has to improve on defense, as he can be a bit lazy while playing defense.
PLAYER WHO HE REMINDS ME OF: Zach Parise. Versatile scoring threat. Hopefully Galiev can improve his finishing enough to be as versatile as Parise. He certainly has the physical tools to do it.
ETA: 2013-2014. Galiev could be up as soon as this season, but I think he might need a year of seasoning in the AHL. The Capitals still have to figure out where they’re going to put him, and hope that he can at the very least improve his defense. He’s not too far off from being NHL ready. However, barring injury or significant development/improvement, Galiev should spend at least a good portion, if not all of, the 2012-2013 hockey season in Hershey. I wouldn’t rule anything out though because he will be invited to Caps Training Camp (whenever that may be).