Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Capitals' Prospect Update

I haven’t kept up the prospects update like I’d wanted to when I published the first one in November, but I still think it’s worth taking a look at how some of the Capitals’ top prospects are faring:

Karl Alzner (Defense, Calgary Hitmen, WHL)- many Caps fans probably already know that the 5th overall pick in last year’s draft was the captain of Canada’s gold medal winning World Juniors team. Alzner is playing his junior hockey for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL and having an impressive season in just about every facet with 27 points (7 goals, 20 assists) in 41 games. Alzner is also +21 and has just 11 penalty minutes.

Francois Bouchard (Right Wing, Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL) - while not producing at quite as a prodigious rate as last season Bouchard is putting up good offense numbers with 71 points (26+45) in 52 games and looks poised to lead Baie-Comeau Drakkar in points for the third straight season.

Chris Bourque (Right Wing/Left Wing, Hershey Bears, AHL) - Bourque made his NHL debut this season, getting in three games without scoring a point. In Hershey (AHL), Bourque has 14 goals and 15 assists through 40 games.

Eric Fehr (Right Wing, Hershey Bears, AHL) - Fehr has made an impressively quick comeback from a back/hip injury that at one point looked to threaten his career. Though he’s only played nine games so far this season, picking up a goal and four assists, don’t be shocked to see Fehr in a Capitals uniform by season’s end.

Joe Finley (Defense, North Dakota Fighting Sioux, WCHA) - with two goals and eight assists in 25 games for the Fighting Sioux, Finley has actually exceeded offensive expectations (he had one goal and nine assists in 83 games in his collegiate career coming into 2007-08). Finley is a defensive defenseman however, and he has shined in his own end as - his whopping +19 rating is the highest on the North Dakota team.

Josh Godfrey (Defense, Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds, OHL) - Godfrey is shaping up to be a good draft pick for the Capitals. Thought to be a bit of reach in the secon round of last year’s draft Godfrey has had an impressive season this year, making the Canadian World Junior team and putting his 99 mile-per-hour shot to good use, racking up 15 goals and 21 assists in 41 games for the Greyhounds. Godfrey is also +16 and has 49 penalty minutes.

Michal Neuvirth (Goalie, Oshawa General, OHL) - Neuvirth has been traded twice already this season, first from the Plymouth Whalers to the Windsor Spitfires and then from Windsor to Oshawa, and has performed well at every stop. For the season, combined amongst all teams, Neuvirth is 13-5-2 with a 2.67 GAA and a .915 save percentage.

Mathieu Perreault (Center, Acadie-Bathurst Titans, QMJHL) - the Capitals’ scouting staff must have known something that no one else did because the team was able to nab Perreault in the sixth round of the 2006 draft, after a season which Perreault put up 52 points (18+34) in 62 games, and watch Perreault put up 119 (41+78) points in 67 games last season. This year Perreault has 69 points (24+45) in 43 games.

Sasha Pokulok (Defense, Hershey Bears, AHL) - Pokulok’s numbers this season aren’t particularly impressive (no goals, five assists, 35 PIMs, +6) but the fact that the big defenseman has been able to make it through the first 31 games of this season without a serious injury and shown some improvement is a good sign

Keith Seabrook (Defense, Calgary Hitmen, WHL) - Seabrook has found his stride somewhat but the 2006 second round pick still has just three goals and eight assists in 39 games for the Hitmen.

Semen Varlamov (Goalie, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl , RSL) - as with most players (and especially goalies) in the Russian Super League it was difficult to find statistics on Varlamov, but I was able to dig up that he is 23-10 and has a GAA of about 2.40.

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