A Look at the Capitals Prospects With the Trade Deadline Approaching

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Posted February 18, 2020

The Caps probably won’t be trading prospect Connor McMichael (Caps Outsider)

The February 24 trade deadline is rapidly approaching. With the Caps looking to make another run at the Stanley Cup, general manager Brian MacLellan will likely make some additions to help bolster the roster, as they did on Tuesday as they picked up Brenden Dillon from the San Jose Sharks for a 2020 second round pick and a conditional 2021 third round pick. According to CapFriendly, the Caps have just over $1M in deadline cap space, meaning they can acquire a player with up to that cap hit at the deadline and remain salary cap compliant. MacLellan will likely have to give up a prospect and/or a draft pick to acquire a rental. Here is a look at some of those prospects as well as the draft picks the Caps have in the next three drafts.

Forwards

Connor McMichael Center, 19 — 2019 1st round (25th overall)

McMichael is probably one of the Capitals few untouchables. He is tearing up the OHL with the London Knights. McMichael leads the Knights in goals (40), assists (40) and points (90) having played in just 43 games. He is fourth in the league in points and second in goals. Perhaps the most absurd stat is the six hat tricks McMichael has this season in the OHL. On the world stage, McMichael had five goals and two assists in seven games helping Canada win gold at the World Juniors.

Aliaskei Protas Center, 19 — 2019 3rd round (91st overall)

Protas may be the other untouchable forward for Washington. He has shined with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL. He leads the Raiders in goals, (26) assists (40) and points (66) in 49 games. League wide, he’s near the top of the leaderboard in all three categories, coming in at 20th in goals, 15th in assists and 10th in points. His +32 raising is ninth best in the league.

Brett Leason right wing, 20 — 2019 2nd round (56th overall)

From an outside perspective, it looks like Leason is struggling to adjust to professional hockey this season with Hershey. But if you peel back the curtain, you’ll see he is playing a limited role and has been a victim of an astronomically low shooting percentage. Leason has just one goal and eight assists this season while playing in the bottom six for Hershey. His 2% shooting is the worst on the team (min 15 shots). Last season Leason had 89 points in 55 games for Prince Albert. If the Caps were to trade Leason, I would expect a decent return, and possibly for a player who would not be a rental.

Axel Jonsson-Fjallby right wing, 21 — 2016 5th round (147th overall)

The first ting you notice about Jonsson-Fjallby, other than his hair, is his speed. Jonsson-Fjallby has used his speed to carve out a top-six role for Hershey this season scoring 10 goals and tallying seven assists in 47 games this season. Jonsson-Fjallby is also seeing time on the penalty kill this season. While Johnson-Fjallby may not have a high-end skillset, but speed is always good to have.

Joe Snively left wing, 24 — undrafted free agent signing

The Herndon, Va. native looked to have turned a corner before being injured on Jan. 5. Snively was playing on the top-line with the Bears scoring 16 points in 34 games for Hershey. He has since returned and how 18 total points in 39 games this season. Last season at Yale, Snively had 36 points in 33 games before scoring seven points in nine games with Hershey at the end of the season.

Kody Clark right wing, 20 — 2018 2nd round (47th overall)

Clark has had some injuries this season and has played just 29 games for Hershey. In those 29 games, he has there goals and six assists while playing a bottom-six role. Last season with the Ottawa 67s (OHL) he had 46 points in 57 games in the regular season and 14 points in 18 playoff games.

Riley Sutter center, 20 — 2018 3rd round (93rd overall)

Sutter has also been hit with injury trouble this season playing in just 21 games for Hershey. He has four points in those games while playing a limited role. Last season, Sutter had 41 points in 38 games last season for the Everett Silvertips (WHL).

Garrett Pilon center, 21 — 2016 3rd round (87th overall)

Pilon is playing well in his second full AHL season. After scoring 33 points in 71 games last season, Pilon earned himself a prominent role on the Bears this season. Pilon looks to be smashing last season’s totals with 34 points in 53 games. In 2017-18 Pilot split time in the WHL between the Kamloops Blazers and the Silvertips. In total, he had 80 points in 69 games.

Beck Malenstyn left wing, 22 — 2016 5th round (145th overall)

Malenstyn isn’t a guy who will put up points as he plays a tough, grind it out style. Over the last two years, Malenstyn has 29 points in 113 games for Hershey in playing a limited role.

Brian Pinho right wing, 24 —  2013 6th round (174th overall)

Pinho had 115 points in 156 games at Providence College from 2014-2018 before turning pro with the Bears last season. Last season Pinho seemed to struggle adjusting to life as a pro scoring just 12 points in 73 games. This season, he seems to have re-discovered his touch scoring 29 points in 54 games while playing in the top-six. As a 24-year-old, Pinho likely isn’t seen as a high prospect and as a result, might be used to sweeten a deal.

Shane Gersich left wing, 23 — 2014 5th round (134th overall)

Gersich had a good senior season at North Dakota, putting up 29 points in 40 games in 2017-18. Last season, Gersich had 24 points in 66 games in Hershey. This year, he has 14 points in 46 games while playing a prominent role. Gersich is in a tough spot as he is an older prospect that has yet to break through to the NHL level.

Erick Florchuk center, 20 — 2018 7th round (217th overall)

Florchuk is unsigned and is putting up decent numbers. He has 47 points in 49 games with the Vancouver Giants and Saskatoon Blades (WHL) this season. Last season he had 50 points in 68 games with the Blades.

Defenseman

Bobby Nardella LD, 23 — undrafted

After scoring 34 points in 38 games with Notre Dame last season, the Caps signed Nardella to a two-year contract in April. This season, he has 25 points in just 33 games for Hershey while playing  on the second pair. The Caps may be too deep on the backend for the 23-year-old to crack the lineup, but he could be of interest to teams because of his high point totals.

Lucas Johansen LD, 22 — 2016 1st round (28th overall)

When the Caps drafted Johansen, he had just scored 49 points in 69 games with the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) and scored another 41 in 16-17. Johansen transitioned to pro with Hershey in 2017-18 scoring 27 points in 74 games. Since then, he has struggled with injuries appearing in just 54 games since the start of last season. As a result, his development has slowed and he has been passed on depth chart. A change of scenery might be exactly what he needs, and at 22, he is still young for a defenseman.

Alex Alexeyev LD, 20 — 2018 1st round (31st overall)

Alexeyev is probably one of the Caps two untouchable defenders. He is playing a top pair role in his rookie season with Hershey. He has 18 points in 50 games and is a +7. Las season with Red Deer (WHL) he had 43 points in 49 games and was a +19. While playing with Russia at the World Juniors, he had six points in seven games.

Martin Fehervary LD, 20 — 2018 2nd round (46th overall)

Fehervary is the other untouchable on the blue line. Having played six games with the Caps this year, he is obviously a part of the future plans. Fehervary’s game isn’t going to put up large point totals, but rather be a reliable puck mover and smooth skater. Despite this, he has 14 points in 48 games with Hershey this season.

Connor Hobbs RD, 23 — 2015 5th round (143rd overall)

Hobbs put up an astonishing 85 pints in 67 games with the Regina Pats (WHL)  in the 2016-17 season and then another 24 points in 23 playoffs games. In Hershey, Hobbs has 36 points in 122 games. He has struggled with injuries and the most he has played in one season is 59 games last season. This season, he has played just 16 games and is out indefinitely after having shoulder surgery.

Martin Has RD, 19 — 2019 5th round (153rd overall)

Has is unsigned and has played just 13 games with the Guelph Storm (OHL) this season. He has five assists in those 13 games.

Alex Kannok-Leipert RD, 19 — 2018 6th round (161st overall)

Kannok-Leipert is another unsigned pick. He has 20 points in 54 games with the Vancouver Giants and is a +17.

Goaltenders

Vitek Vanecek 24 —2014 2nd round (39th overall)

Vanecek has been solid with Hershey the last two seasons being named an AHL All-Star last year as well as this season. Last season, he went 21-16-3 with a GAA of 2.62 and a .907 save percentage. This season, Vanecek is 14-10-1 with a 2.44 GAA and a .910 save percentage. Last summer, the Caps gave Vanecek a three-year deal that turns into a one-way contract next season. If Holtby leaves in free agency, Vanecek will likely compete for a spot in Washington.

Mitchell Gibson 20 — 2018 4th round (124th overall)

Gibson is unsigned and is in his freshman year at Harvard. In 17-18, he set the NAHL (North American Hockey League) record for shutouts (11) and went 26-7-4 on his way to being named to the NAHL All-Rookie First Team, NAHL Goalie of the Year and the NAHL rookie of the year. This year, he is 8-6-3 in 18 games with Harvard with a 2.62 GAA and a .917 save percentage.

Draft Picks

2020 draft — 1st Washington; 3rd Washington, Arizona*; 4th Washington; 5th Washington; 6th Washington

2021 — 1st Washington; 2md Washington; 3rd Washington*; 4th Washington; 5th Washington, Vegas; 6th Washington; 7th Washington

2022 — The Caps have not added or traded away a pick in the 2022 draft.

conditions on the Dillon trade

MacLellan addressed the defense with the pickup of Dillon, but if he wants to make another move, possibly adding a depth forward, the prospects or picks above will likely be involved in the deal.