A Haarty Year for Garrett

Posted June 22, 2012

Garrett Haar at the Capitals 2011 Development Camp (Photo By Alena Schwarz)

Garrett Haar has proven once again that the seventh round draftees shouldn’t be counted out from the start.

The 18-year-old Huntington Beach, Calif. native went 207th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, but you wouldn’t know it by his play.

Haar played 36 games for the WMU Broncos this season, scoring one goal and recording seven assists. He finished the season with a plus-4 and logged 32 penalty minutes.

However, as of last July 27, it didn’t look like he would be attending WMU.

During the 2011 Capitals Development Camp, Haar had expressed his intent to stay with his junior team, the Fargo Force of the USHL.

With GM George McPhee’s help, by Aug. 5 he was a college student.

Haar tracked his journey to college on Twitter:

As a Bronco, Haar finished his season strong. He earned a spot on the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s (CCHA) All-Rookie team.

His success at the college level hasn’t escaped the eyes of USA Hockey, either.  Just three days ago, Haar was named to the 2012 USA Hockey Junior National Evaluation Camp roster.

The camp will run from Aug. 4-11.  If he can survive the cuts, he’ll have earned a spot on the USA World Junior Championship team and will compete in the 2013 World Junior Championships in Russia. Haar is one of 46 players playing for a spot on that coveted team.

Among other Capitals defensemen who have made the cut and appeared in a USA uniform are current-Cap John Carlson and prospect Patrick Wey (attending Boston College).

In this year’s draft, the Caps have three seventh round picks (195, 197, and 203).  Haar is the reason why those shouldn’t be taken lightly and just traded away. At last year’s development camp, McPhee referred to Haar as the “surprise” of the camp. And after his season, it’s clear why.

So McPhee, if you’re reading, don’t trade away those picks. In an incredibly deep draft class, there could definitely be a diamond in the rough.