Washington Capitals: Predicting the Next 5 Prospects to Make Their NHL Debuts

Jake WareCorrespondent IIIOctober 2, 2012

Washington Capitals: Predicting the Next 5 Prospects to Make Their NHL Debuts

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    With Cody Eakin, Tomas Kundratek and Dmitri Orlov, the Washington Capitals had three players make their NHL debuts with the club last season.

    With one of the NHL's deeper prospect pools, there should be plenty more to come in 2012-13.

    Here is a prediction of the next five young Caps to make their NHL debuts.

5. Filip Forsberg

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    The drafting of Filip Forsberg, a top-three prospect in the 2012 NHL entry draft, at 11th overall was a steal.

    The 18-year-old Swedish winger, currently playing for Leksand in the Allsvenskan, is a top-line talent.

    Forsberg likely won't play in the NHL in 2012-13 but should be thrust into the Caps top six as soon as he makes the move across the Atlantic.

4. Philipp Grubauer

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    The Caps knew Philipp Grubauer was far more than a fourth-round talent when they drafted him 112th overall in 2010, and he has certainly proven his worth in the years since.

    The 20-year-old was named an ECHL All-Star after a sublime rookie season that saw him post a 2.22 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage with the South Carolina Stingrays and is ready to step up to the next level.

    With Tomas Vokoun gone and Braden Holtby ready to be a full-time NHLer, Grubauer will compete with Dany Sabourin for time in Hershey.

    He'll be the top call-up option should Holtby or Michal Neuvirth fall victim to injury.

3. Cam Schilling

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    The Capitals signed Cam Schilling last March after the conclusion of his NCAA career. He has almost instantly become one of the club's top defensive prospects.

    Schilling was one of nine or 10 defensemen seen to be legitimate NHL players heading into training camp, and if he didn't manage to make it with the Caps, he was set for stardom in the AHL.

    Regardless of whether or not Schilling makes the team, he should be one of the top call-up option for the Caps. 

2. Mattias Sjögren

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    When Mattias Sjögren was signed by the Caps in June last year, it was because the team saw him as an NHL talent that could contribute in the team's bottom four.

    But Sjögren failed to make the roster out of training camp and left the Hershey Bears to join his old Färjestad midway through the season.

    Sjögren was recalled by the Caps during the playoffs and promised he'd stay. The Swede will be one of the top recall options for the Caps from the Bears should he not contribute right away.

1. Stanislav Galiev

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    With Alexander Semin's departure, 2010 third-round pick Stanislav Galiev was expected to come into training camp and seriously compete for a big-league role.

    Obviously, the ongoing lockout robbed the Russian of any opportunity to win a spot with the Caps, but when the new season starts, Galiev should be firmly within the team's plans.

    If he doesn't make the roster, Galiev will be one of Adam Oates's top call-up options.

    Galiev likely won't have to wait long to make his NHL debut—he will be the Caps' next debutant.