The Washington Capitals remain one of the tougher teams to figure out as far as draft strategy and direction are concerned.
The 2013 NHL draft is coinciding with an almost perfect storm of trade rumors and compliance buyouts that stand to make pretty much anything a possibility between now and when the draft begins.
Caps' general manager George McPhee has gone on record as saying the Caps will talk to pretty much anyone about a trade leading into the draft.
As McPhee said in an article that appeared on CSNWashington.com, "We’ll talk to everybody and see where it goes."
That's real helpful, isn't it?
With the Caps, they could just stockpile draft selections, as they did a year ago. With their salary cap situation as difficult as it is, they might not have much of a choice. Depending on how the draft goes for the Capitals, and what selections they make, we might also get a glimpse as to their possible free-agency strategy.
Or something else entirely could be in the works. Will the Caps try and move Mike Ribeiro as part of a draft-day deal to give some unnamed team exclusive rights to reach a deal with Ribs before he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 5?
Will the Caps be able to move someone like Jeff Schultz as part of a draft-day deal?
And what about players like Vincent Lecavalier or Danny Briere? How might these players factor into what happens between now and tomorrow?
Perhaps the biggest question, though, is who the Caps will draft if no deals are made.
The Caps have eight picks in the 2013 NHL draft, one in each round and two picks in the fifth round. They currently own the 23rd overall pick in the draft, and there is no consensus at all as to whether the Caps will look to improve their offense or whether they will focus on defense.
After researching many mock drafts and scouting reports, I therefore present to you the full seven-round 2013 mock draft for the Washington Capitals.