Washington Capitals 2012 NHL Draft Picks: Grades, Results and Analysis

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Washington Capitals 2012 NHL Draft Picks: Grades, Results and Analysis
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
George McPhee handled the draft without the input of a head coach.

Few teams head into the 2012-13 season with the identity crisis that the Washington Capitals are facing.

For years, the Capitals were a team that depended on an explosive offense to bludgeon their opponents. That philosophy was fairly successful during the regular season, but it left them with egg on their faces in the postseason because they could not sustain the attack, despite the presence of Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin.

Former head coach Bruce Boudreau tried to get the Capitals to buy into playing a more defensively sound game, but the progress was too slow for Washington general manager George McPhee and Boudreau was sent packing early last season. McPhee brought in former Capitals agitator Dale Hunter as head coach and he was more successful than Boudreau had been. After qualifying for the playoffs in the final days of the season, the Capitals upset the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in the first round of the season and pushed the New York Rangers to seven games before being eliminated.

The path would seem to be clear, but Hunter resigned his position shortly after the team's defeat. McPhee will not have a new coach in place prior to the draft. The chances are he will look for a coach who preaches responsibility at both ends like Hunter.

McPhee had 10 picks in this year's draft, including two in the first round.

Here's a closer look at them.

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