Originally written on Blog So Hard Sports  |  Last updated 10/16/14
Top 5 Caps Prospects   It’s NHL draft time and the stage is set for the Washington Capitals to start building for the 2012-2013 seasons. The Caps have got a lot of work to do come Friday’s draft, with a stock pile of picks acquired over the past years the team has a league high of 11 picks. I looked over the draft board a few times and did my research and a couple of kids stuck out the most to me who could help upgrade this Capitals roster. 1. Teuvo Teravainen – Winger This fella possesses some of the best offensive skill sets in the upcoming draft. Teravainen, a Finnish born winger, was drafted by the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the first round of the 2011 KHL Junior draft. Last year with his KHL team Jokerit Helsinki, he netted these stats: 40 games played with 11 goals, 7 assists and 18 points. He’s a very polished skater, able to score using his powerful wrist shot. This 17 year old can and will play with the big boys this upcoming year. Maybe the Caps show interest knowing that Semin might not return. 2. Radek Faksa – Centre To me, Faksa is one of the most exciting players coming out in the draft this year! At 6’2 and 182 lbs, this big bodied Czech Republic born player is just what the Capitals need at centre. Faksa was drafted by the Kitchener Rangers in the first round in the CHL import draft lastr year, and had outstanding stats for the Rangers. 62 games played, 29 goals and 38 assists, Faksa is also very scrappy netting 47 PIMs. There’s nothing that I see that is a disappointment with him yet, maybe there is a down side but I haven’t seen anything that leads me to believe that he’s anything other than a  very good, solid player. Taking Faksa would address another of the Caps big needs. 3. Olli Maatta – Defenseman The Caps would have to make sure this is the move that they want to make because it’s a risk/reward pick. Maatta is extremely talented and works the puck very nicely, but seems to get sleepy in the physical department. Olli also has had injuries in the past, the most recent one being a concussion he suffered at the world juniors. But the bright side here is he posted pretty good numbers as a defenseman for the London Knights.  Last year,  Maatta played 58 games, and had 5 goals and 27 assists. He plays at a very high level and is probably the most polished defensemen in this year’s draft. He could be worthy of a first round pick this year, possibly by Washington. A healthy Maatta can be very scary in the Southeast division. 4. Brady Skjei – Defenseman Skjei (pronounced shay)…could be a late first round draft pick or he could slip into the 2 round. This American born defenseman is another risk/reward pick, but comes without the injuries. One of the best skaters in the draft, Skjei can skate circles around the offense and make them look silly. Sometimes Brady can be too aggressive and turn the puck over causing breakaways and easy scoring chances on the other end, but the thing that separates Skjei from Maatta is the ability to put a body on forwards and centres. The physicality he brings would be welcomed in DC. Skjei is a very good transitional player and the second most polished defenseman in this year’s draft. He also won a gold medal at the U-18 (under 18 years of age) World Championships. He played in 60 games last year totally 4 goals and 19 assists. Possibly another John Carlson? He just might be. 5. Mikhail Grigorenko – Right Winger It wouldn’t be the Capitals if I didn’t throw in a Russian born player! Mikhail is probably the biggest winger coming out of the draft this year, standing at 6’2 and 183 lbs.  He also has the size, speed, and puck handling to be a top 5 prospect. A great talent like this could become a great back, but again he would not come without risks. After a lack luster showing at the U -18 world championships, Mikhail later told reporters he was recently diagnosed with Mononucleosis. With the diagnosis behind him, he possesses the size and skill to become a potential superstar in the NHL. With his amateur team the Quebec Remparts, he notched some out of this world numbers: scoring 40 goals, 45 assists and 85 points (and that was his first year with the team). Mikhail is what I like to call a “tweener” as he can play both centre and winger and is a very good power play coach. Grigorenko’s big frame could also help during penalty kills and 3 on 5 odd man rushes.   The Washington Capitals have a lot of talented prospects to evaluate at the draft war table. Could one of these names be called in the number 11 spot? I guess you and I will have to wait and see.    
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