Breaking Down Washington Capitals' Biggest Needs in 2014 NHL Draft

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Breaking Down Washington Capitals' Biggest Needs in 2014 NHL Draft
Gregg Forwerck/Getty Images

Despite never leading his team to a Stanley Cup title during his 17 seasons at the helm of the Washington Capitals, one cannot ignore how well George McPhee and his staff drafted over the years.

In fact, of the 21 first-rounders selected by the Caps since he took over as general manager in 1997 (not including 2013 pick Andre Burakovsky), 18 have become NHL players.

More importantly, most of them have developed into valuable contributors as members of the team, including past and present standouts such as Alexander Ovechkin, Mike Green, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Semyon Varlamov, Alexander Semin, Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Of course, McPhee is no longer the GM, so the exact holes that the Caps will be looking to fill at the 2014 NHL draft remain to be seen. But with the No. 13 selection in Round 1, the franchise has a big opportunity to add to a talented core that saw a string of six consecutive playoff appearances snapped in 2013-14.

Heading into the final few weeks leading up to the draft in Philadelphia, here's a look at Washington's biggest needs, along with the prospects to address them.

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