Updates on Where Washington Capitals' 2010 Draft Picks Are Now
In the upcoming NHL draft, the Washington Capitals will add another group of players to their franchise's history of draft picks, as outlined by Hockey-Reference.com. But before then, let's take a moment to revisit an eventful draft from the Capitals' recent past and check in on the players selected.
Here is an update on where the Washington Capitals' 2010 draft picks are now. The players are listed in the reverse order of when they were selected, along with the position they play, and the round and overall selection number.
Note: All statistics courtesy of EliteProspects.com unless otherwise noted.
5. Samuel Carrier D: Round 6, No. 176
Who the puck is Samuel Carrier?
The native of Varennes, Quebec, was playing for the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the QMJHL when selected by the Caps in 2010 and has stayed in the QMJHL since then, playing for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada during the 2012-13 season.
Carrier has 50 goals and 143 assists for 193 points with 298 penalty minutes and a plus-76 rating in 302 career games in the QMJHL.
According to his profile at HockeysFuture.com, Carrier was considered a project at the time he was drafted:
Carrier was a late-round selection and as such is a long shot to play at the NHL. The Caps are hoping that they may have found a diamond in the rough playing on a weak junior team.
Carrier is by nature an offensive player from the backline and has some skills and creativity that set him apart from prospects his age - which is why he was drafted.
He is still young enough to develop the complimentary elements to make him a successful attacking defenseman and potential power play specialist at the NHL level. But his game is still very rough in several areas at this stage in his.
On June 1, 2012, Katie Carrera of The Washington Post reported that "the Capitals have elected not to sign 2010 draft pick Samuel Carrier, thereby relinquishing their rights to the defensive prospect, according to a team spokesman."
This decision by the Capitals made Carrier eligible for the 2012 NHL draft, but no team selected him, according to Hockey-Reference.com. On his personal Twitter account, Carrier still describes himself as a "Washington Capitals draft pick." Carrier is the only member of the Caps' 2010 draft class who has yet to play hockey at the professional level.
4. Caleb Herbert C: Round 5, No. 142
Caleb Herbert was drafted by the Capitals in 2010 out of Bloomington Jefferson High School in Bloomington, Minn. The versatile forward then played the 2010-11 season in the USHL, scoring 23 goals with 27 assists for 50 points, with 61 penalty minutes and a minus-eight rating in 51 games with the Sioux City Musketeers.
Herbert enrolled at the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the fall of 2011. So far, the 21-year-old has completed his freshman and sophomore years with the Bulldogs. In 76 college games, Herbert has 20 goals with 38 assists for 58 points, with 83 penalty minutes and a plus-five rating.
In the most recent list of Washington Capitals' Top 10 Prospects published by Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus, Herbert was ranked fourth. That list included former Capitals property Filip Forsberg, who came in at second.
Herbert received a prospect talent score of 7.0 from HockeysFuture.com. According to the website's Player System Rating Rules, this talent score equates to a "second-line forward"—or a player such as Andy MacDonald or Ryan Malone. Herbert is currently eighth on the Washington Capitals' depth chart at center, according to The Hockey News.
3. Philipp Grubauer G: Round 4, No. 112
The Capitals' third selection of the 2010 NHL draft had an eventful 2012-13 season.
Philipp Grubauer began the season in the ECHL with the Reading Royals. In 26 regular-season games, Grubauer had a 2.30 goals against average and a .912 save percentage.
He earned ECHL Goaltender of the Month honors for November and was named starter for the ECHL All-Star Game. Grubauer finished with a 19-5-1-0 record and finished fourth in the ECHL in goals against average, minimum 1,440 minutes played, per ECHL.com.
Once the NHL lockout ended, Grubauer was promoted to the AHL, to take over Braden Holtby's position as starting goaltender for the Hershey Bears.
The German native played in 28 regular-season games, finishing with a 2.25 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Grubauer compiled a record of 15-9-2 and finished with the seventh-best goals against average in the AHL, minimum 1,500 minutes played, per TheAHL.com.
In the midst of a successful season in the AHL, Grubauer was called up to the Capitals in late February, making his NHL debut in the process. Grubauer made a total of two appearances with one start, finishing with a 3.57 goals against average and a .915 save percentage, per NHL.com.
Despite pedestrian numbers within a small sample size, it should be noted that Grubauer stopped all 14 shots he faced in his NHL debut on February 27. Grubauer entered that game in relief of Braden Holtby and shut out the Philadelphia Flyers for the final 25:05 in Philadelphia, per NHL.com.
Grubauer then returned to the Bears to finish the AHL regular season and was back with Hershey in time for the Calder Cup playoffs. It was there that Grubauer authored, perhaps, the greatest chapter of his 2012-13 season. And that's saying a lot.
In what was described as an "epic performance" by Tim Leone of PennLive.com, Grubauer stopped 54 of 58 shots he faced against the Providence Bruins in Game 2 in their first-round playoff series. If the game had not required overtime, Grubauer would have set a Hershey Bears record for saves in a regulation playoff game.
Grubauer's impressive body of work in 2012-13 vaulted him to third on the Capitals' depth chart at the goalie position, according to The Hockey News. And just this week, Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington ranked Grubauer fourth in his countdown of the Capitals' 10 best prospects.
2. Stanislav Galiev RW: Round 3, No. 86
Stanislav Galiev had a rockier season in 2012-13 than Philipp Grubauer, but it ended on a high note.
Before the season began, Galiev was ranked third by Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus among the Top 10 Washington Capitals prospects, and 29th among the Top 100 NHL Prospects. Understandably, expectations for the Moscow native were high as he began his first season as a professional.
But Galiev faltered in the AHL, playing only 17 games with the Hershey Bears in two different call-ups. He had one assist with eight penalty minutes and a minus-four rating before being demoted to the Reading Royals of the ECHL.
On November 14, 2012, Galiev spoke to Igor Kleyner of Russian Machine Never Breaks on the eve of his first assignment to Reading. The talented forward maintained a healthy attitude toward the impending move and had a good understanding of what he needed to work on:
It feels like there is a huge difference between playing junior hockey and pro. I am catching up gradually. Here everybody follows the system, everybody knows what they are supposed to do in any situation, and what everybody else is supposed to do.
And there’s no getting away with stuff that you can afford to do in juniors. The two things I feel the need to improve the most are tactical awareness, which is basically following the system, and of course, defensive play.
Galiev rediscovered his game in Reading, returning to the point-per-game production he enjoyed during his three seasons in the QMJHL and his one season in the USHL before that. In 46 regular-season games with the Royals, Galiev scored 23 goals with 24 assists for 47 points, to go with 32 penalty minutes and a plus-16 rating.
Galiev continued his success in the postseason as well. He scored four goals with seven assists to total 11 points, good for ninth among rookies in the 2013 ECHL playoffs, per ECHL.com. Due to an injury, Galiev only played in 10 playoff games for Reading, otherwise he likely would have finished higher among the ECHL's top postseason scorers.
But Galiev returned in time to join his Reading teammates for their playoff game on May 25. He tweeted about the occasion:
The game in question was of the elimination variety. All Galiev did was score a goal in his return to the lineup as the Royals pasted the Stockton Thunder by a 6-0 score, winning the series 3-2. The Reading Royals won the ECHL's Kelly Cup Championship as a result, as recapped by ECHL.com.
For Galiev, not a bad finish to an up-and-down season.
1. Evgeny Kuznetsov RW: Round 1, No. 26
And then, there was Kuzya.
Evgeny Kuznetsov was the first selection by the Washington Capitals in the 2010 draft and is also the first of three Capitals' prospects listed among the Top 100 NHL Prospects by Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus. Kuznetsov checked in at No. 4, with Filip Forsberg at No. 10 and Stanislav Galiev at No. 29.
But with Forsberg having been dealt to the Nashville Predators in a trade deadline move to acquire Martin Erat and Stanislav Galiev still adjusting to professional hockey, Kuznetsov stands alone at the top of the Capitals' system, the lone precious gem among a pile of lesser rocks.
So far, Kuznetsov has shone at every level.
In 20 games at the U-20 World Junior Championships with Russia, the native of Chelyabinsk scored 12 goals with 14 assists for 26 points, with 18 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating.
This includes 13 points in two games at the 2011-12 WJC: nine points came in a 14-0 shellacking of Latvia; four points came against Canada in a wild 6-5 win in the semifinals. Kuznetsov recorded a hat trick in both games, as recapped by The Washington Post.
Kuznetsov has played for Russia at the World Championships, as well. At the 2012 and 2013 World Championships, Kuznetsov totaled three goals and four assists for seven points in 13 games, with six penalty minutes and a plus-four rating.
Professionally, Kuzya has held his own. In 179 games in the KHL, he has scored 57 goals with 68 assists for 125 points, with 112 penalty minutes and a plus-five rating. Kuznetsov has averaged 0.51 points per game in 41 playoff games in the KHL. During the 2012-13 season, Kuznetsov finished sixth in the league with 44 points, per KHL.com.
But with Kuznetsov, the question has never been: Will he perform? The question with Kuznetsov has always been: Will he play in the NHL?
The phenom once again answered this question in a May 6 interview with Mikhail Zislis of Sport-Express (translation via Fedor Fedin of Russian Machine Never Breaks)
I keep up with the people from the Capitals, talk to them friendly over the phone. Nothing new has happened in regards to that. They invited me to visit and talk. They know my plans well. I have decided for myself to spend the next year in Russia and then go to the NHL. Why should I rush?
Two weeks later, Capitals general manager George McPhee reaffirmed that statement as best he could to Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington:
He’s finished the first year of a two-year deal. Maybe we’ll see him after his [2013-14] season’s over. … I’m not sure how that’s going to go. There will be some discussions next year. But that’s our understanding, yes, that he intends to play here.
Capitals fans are hoping that three years from now, when it comes time for another update on Washington's 2010 draft class, Evgeny Kuznetsov has indeed decided to "play here."