Washington Capitals Prospects We Should Be Eager to See

Matt SchreiberAnalyst IIIDecember 28, 2012

Washington Capitals Prospects We Should Be Eager to See

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    With the lockout in full force and near certainty that we won't see an NHL season this year, there hasn't been much for Washington Capitals fans or hockey fans to get excited about.

    Maybe what Capitals fans can get excited about is the possibility of getting a chance to see the team's top prospects sometime in the future. 

    Hey, I am just trying to show some optimism here. Let's take a look at guys who have the potential to prosper at the NHL level.

Filip Forsberg, LW

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    Filip Forsberg was the first of two first-round draft picks the Capitals took in the 2012 NHL Draft. The Swedish-born player has tremendous upside.

    The Capitals are letting him develop in Sweden for another year, but there is somewhat of a chance that by the time the NHL starts up again, he could be in a Caps uniform.

    During the lockout, Forsberg has suited up in 22 games for Leksands of Sweden's hockey team.

    Thus far, the 18-year-old has tallied nine goals and 10 assists. He is the youngest player on his team's roster.

    He has also been named the captain of Sweden's Junior team for 2013, and in 2012, he led the team to its first championship in 31 years.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, RW

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    Evgeny Kuznetsov could very well be the top prospect the Capitals have.

    He scored a hat-trick against team Canada in the World Junior Championships. You obviously have tremendous talent if that's something on your credentials.

    The only issue here is that Kuznetsov is hard to bring back over from Russia.

    The Capitals took him in the first-round of the 2010 draft. While he seems completely ready to play at a professional level in the NHL, it doesn't seem like we will get him over to the states anytime soon.

    When we do, the NHL will need to prepare for the damage he can do.

    In 144 games in the KHL, Kuznetsov has tallied 46 goals and 44 assists at only 20 years old.

Tom Wilson, RW

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    Tom Wilson is one of the younger guys of the talented prospects. He was born in 1994 and still has some growing up to do. He can make a splash in the NHL one day with his size and potential.

    He weighs in at 194 pounds and stands tall at 6'4". The Capitals took him in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, just five picks after they took Filip Forsberg.

    Hockey's Future states, "What remains to be seen is whether the big winger can develop his offensive skills – it will be the difference between Wilson being a top 6  forward or a 4th-line energy player."

    While he needs to develop his offensive skills, he does the possess the size to be efficient if he works on his game.

    I mean, he is only 18 years old. The sky is the limit for what he can do.

    Wilson has been tearing it up in the OHL for the Plymouth Whalers since 2009.

Caleb Herbert, C

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    Caleb Herbert is an American-born hockey player with tremendous speed and athleticism. He also has great awareness while he's possessing the puck. The Capitals acquired him in the fifth-round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

    He has spent the last few years playing for Sioux City in the USHL and averaged nearly a point per game back in 2011.

    Hockey's Future states, "Herbert has high-end offensive skill."

    It's always good to have young offensive skill in your arsenal, as these young guys are the future of the league.

Patrick Wey, D

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    Patrick Wey is a solid defenseman who the Capitals drafted back in 2009. In his 2010-2011 season with Boston College, he recorded a plus-20 rating.

    The positive rating is a strong indicator of his solid defensive play. Last year, the Capitals switched their heavy offensive style of hockey to mainly defense. Wey would fit nicely into their scheme.

    One day, Wey will get the opportunity to showcase his talents. The Capitals are definitely excited about the young 21-year-old they have in the farm system.

    According to Hockey's Future, "He projects as a sound, two-way defenseman who can generate offense off the rush."