Getting To Know… The Capitals Draft Picks

Posted June 24, 2019

(Connor McMichael, via the NHL)

The 2019 NHL Draft was held in Vancouver last week and for the Capitals, it was a chance to expand on their depth with some activity and shuffling to their current roster already taking place. Get to know the draftees and the next generation to pull on the Caps jersey.


Drafted: First Round, Pick #25

Eighteen year old young gun Connor McMichael was the Capitals first round draft pick and will prove to be an up and coming centre for the Caps. The Ontario born forward kicked off his Junior Hockey experience in the Ontario Hockey League in 2017 with the Hamilton Bulldogs after being drafted at 11th overall in the first round of the 2017 Priority Draft. McMichael recorded 10 points in 32 games in his debut season with the Bulldogs before being traded to the London Knights.

A steady first season with the Knights saw McMichael score 6 points in 28 games before his 2018-19 season with the Knights saw his offensive output increase significantly. He recorded his first multi goal game in a 5-2 win over the Windsor Spitfire and posted impressive numbers throughout the season with a strong 72 points in 67 games. McMichael also recorded two goals and five points in eleven post season games and his form and numbers proved enough for the Capitals to pay attention.

A self confessed two way centreman, McMichael relishes the chance to create offensive chances and has proven scoring ability. He is set to be an exciting addition to the Capitals roster.


Drafted: Second Round, Pick #56

Considered a second round steal, the Capitals nabbed forward Brett Leason at Pick #56 from the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders. The unique part about Leason’s drafting is that at 20 years old he was passed over in both the 2017 and 2018 drafts. However in 2019, the Capitals gave the 6 foot 4  forward the chance he was dreaming of.

Leason’s road to becoming an NHL draftee began at a young age and he made his way into the WHL for the Tri-City Americans. Leason played 68 games for the Americans during 2016-17 and tallied 18 points throughout there season. Midway through the 2017-18 season he joined the Prince Albert Raiders and his offensive output spiked to 32 points in 54 regular season games and 3 points in 7 playoff games.

Leason’s 2018-19 season with the Raiders may have been the X Factor when it came to his NHL drafting recording a huge 89 points in 55 regular season games. He went on to help lead the Raiders to the 2018-19 WHL Championship, recording 25 playoff points and was named to the WHL (East) First All Star Team. He also represented Canada in the 2019 U20 World Junior Championships, tallying 5 points in 5 games.

Leason’s experience and game sense could be a secret weapon for the Capitals and flying under the radar could very well pay off for the strong forward.


Drafted: Third Round, Pick #91

Due to last year’s Carl Hagelin trade, the Capitals were originally left without a third round selection. However with some wheeling and dealing with the New Jersey Devils, the Caps traded picks #118 and #129 for Pick #91 in the third round, snagging Belarussian forward Aliaksei Protas, also from the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders. Kicking off his road to the NHL in Belarus’ U17 squad in 2016, Protas spent two seasons with the national Under 17 team recording 20 points in 49 games across 2017-18.

Protas’ first taste of North American hockey came in 2018 as he joined the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL in what would prove to be a career changing season. Protas recorded 40 points in 61 games and recorded back to back hat tricks in the postseason to help lead the Raiders to their first WHL championship since 1985.

Known to Raiders fans as the Viper of Vitebsk, Protas stands at 6”5 and will be looking to make his physical and playmaking presence felt as he lines up on the Capitals roster.


Drafted: Fifth Round, Pick #153

Another drafting off the back of moving picks around, the Capitals sent their seventh round pick #211 and their seventh round pick in next season’s draft to the San Jose Sharks in order to move into the fifth round with pick #153. Enter Czech prospect Martin Has, a 6”4 defenceman, Has entered the draft ranked 38th by Central Scouting in the top European skater standings and will be out to prove his worth in Finland this coming season in the top Finnish Liiga League.

Has has represented his country several times on the national stage as part of the Czech Junior National squads at U16, U17 and U18 levels. He tallied 9 points in 15 games in his first international tournament at U16 level in 2017.

Has relocated to Finland in 2017 and has been playing for the Tappara organisation since then. His most recent season in 2018-19 saw him record 16 points in 37 games for Tappara’s U20 squad.

Has will provide some size to the Capitals’ blue line stocks and is set to be an exciting prospect to track for Capitals fans.