The 2013-14 campaign has gone south in a hurry for the Washington Capitals. But with so much talent and apparent depth on this roster, one has to think Adam Oates is capable of turning things around before the postseason is out of reach.
A playoff team in each of the past six seasons, the Caps have built a strong core largely by drafting well on a consistent basis, despite regularly having low Round 1 selections in recent years.
Washington has done well with top-10 draftees such as Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Karl Alzner, but a number of guys picked in the late first round or later have become valuable contributors at the NHL level.
John Carlson, Mike Green, Marcus Johansson, Braden Holtby, Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov are just a few of the Caps' former selections who were overlooked by at least 24 other teams in their respective draft years. And it looks like there are more prospects in the system who should follow suit in exceeding expectations.
Here's a look at Washington's most underrated prospects, broken down by position.