While the official version of the 2012-2013 Washington Capitals remain on a lockout-induced hiatus, that does not mean that the members of the Caps—both present and future—are just sitting around and doing nothing.
To the contrary, Caps players and prospects are playing in all sorts of locations all over the globe for a variety of teams.
The past few years, the Caps have been as good as anyone at drafting prospects and then letting them develop into good NHL players. Some projects have taken longer than others to be sure, but the end result for quite a few of these prospects has usually been very good.
Braden Holtby is an example of this. The 23-year-old goaltender became a hero for many Caps' fans with his tremendous playoff run last spring where he very nearly got the Caps to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1998.
John Carlson is another fine example of how the Caps system, as far as prospects are concerned, has been working. The young defenseman became an integral piece of the Caps defensive puzzle last spring and he was rewarded with a six year, $23.8 million contract just before the lockout took hold (Washington Times).
There are others such as Dmitry Orlov, an up-and-coming blue-liner for the Caps, and Marcus Johnasson, who has a ton of potential to be a very good forward for Washington.
At the 2012 NHL entry draft, the Caps put together, by most accounts, a very solid draft. The influx of talent added quite a few more potential "can't-miss" prospects to the organizational pool.
Which ones are the best? Who will eventually rise up and claim a roster spot? Which Caps' prospects have superstar potential?
Let's take a look at seven Caps prospects who should be considered untouchable over the next few years.