Washington Capitals: What Does the Tomas Vokoun Trade Mean for the Caps?

Jake WareCorrespondent IIIJune 4, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 10:  Tomas Vokoun #29 of the Washington Capitals clears a shot in the second period against the Boston Bruins on March 10, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

On Monday June 4, 2012, the Washington Capitals traded goaltender Tomas Vokoun to their arch-rival Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a 7th-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

In his 2011-12 exit interview, Vokoun had made clear his desire to leave the team, saying "for me, it was never the intention to be here more than a year."

Vokoun was clearly on his way out, and the trade to send him to the Steel City only reaffirmed that.

Nonetheless, the trade still begs the question: What does it all mean for the Washington Capitals organization.

Ultimately, in terms of next year's roster, the trade means little.

Having posted a .935 save percentage and 1.95 goals against average with seven wins in 14 playoff games this postseason, 22-year-old Braden Holtby finally confirmed his spot on the roster next season. He will inevitably compete for playing time with fellow youngsters Michal Neuvirth.

Vokoun was no longer needed.

That said, the trade does still carry value for the Caps, in terms of continuing to build on their future.

The Caps already hold two first-rounders (11th overall pick from Colorado for Semyon Varlamov), one 2nd-rounder (also from Varlamov, dependent on whether or not the Caps choose to select with Boston's second-rounder in 2012 or Colorado's second-rounder in 2013), one third-rounder, two fourth-rounders (100th overall pick from Winnipeg for Eric Fehr), one fifth-rounder, one sixth-rounder, and one seventh-rounder in this month's NHL draft, and in acquiring Pittsburgh's seventh-rounder, the Caps secured potentially their 10th draft pick in what has long been said to be a very deep draft class.

Washington was deemed by Hockey's Future to have the fourth-worst prospect pool in the NHL, and needs to restock the youth supplies.

Ultimately, while this trade only yielded a seventh-round draft pick, it will help the Capitals continue to build on their future, and continue to ensure that a fresh supply of youngsters are arriving in the District to help Alex Ovechkin and his team on their quest for the cup.