The Washington Capitals hold the 13th draft pick at the 2014 NHL draft, along with several other picks in through top few rounds. Washington has held the number 13 selection just once over their history, not including the supplemental draft.
Washington’s needs include an elite defenseman on the blue line, preferably a two-way blue liner. The draft is thin on impact defensemen in the first round, but Haydn Fleury could be available when it’s Washington’s turn to make their selection. The Hockey Writers takes a look back at past Capitals’ draft picks at the #13 slot and recent selections at the same spot around the NHL.
Capitals No. 13 Selections
Alexander Semin (2012)
Semin was arguably one of the best Capitals forwards since the turn of the century and thrived during the club’s glory years of multiple Southeast Division titles. The 30 year old Russian native has accumulated 494 points in 578 career regular season games, good for an impressive .85 points per game.
Semin posted a career high 84 points during the 2009-10 season in the nation’s capital, prior to two straight 54 point campaigns and an exit out of the nation’s capital. He signed with the Hurricanes and will continue to play in the Sunbelt until the 2017-18 season barring an unlikely trade.
Recent No. 13 Selections
Sven Baertschi (2011-Calgary)
Drafted out of the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks, this undersized forward hasn’t produced like the Flames have hoped early in his pro career. Baertschi has played in just 51 regular season games for Calgary, recording 24 points for a franchise in a rebuilding state. The Swiss native could get an opportunity for extended playing time this fall with a strong training camp and preseason for Calgary.
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Brandon Gormley (2010-Phoenix)
Gormley, a left handed defenseman, has appeared in just five NHL contests since his selection by the Coyotes. He’s posted consecutive 29 and 36 point campaigns for the struggling Portland Pirates in the AHL and could be on the verge of breaking into Phoenix’s (now Arizona) talented and youthful defensive core.
Zack Kassian (2009-Buffalo)
A physical forward, Kassian was drafted for his size. Now with the troubled Vancouver Canucks after his trade from the Buffalo Sabres, looks to have secured a regular role in the National Hockey League. He played in 73 games this past season, posting 29 points and a whopping 124 penalty minutes. The 29 points were a career high for Kassian with any team he’s played for at the pro level.
Colten Teubert (2008-Los Angeles)
Drafted by the Kings in 2008, Teubert has been the most obvious bust of recent selections with the 13th pick. He’s no longer playing in the NHL, but with the Iserlohn Roosters of the DEL. He played in 24 regular season games for the Edmonton Oilers, after he was part of the Kings’ package that netted them current Capitals unrestricted free agent Dustin Penner.
Lars Eller (2007-St. Louis)
Eller is the most successful of the recent number 13 picks listed and he made a big impact with the Montreal Canadiens this past season. He was originally drafted by St. Louis and dealt to Montreal in exchange for recently signed New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak. Eller recently notched 13 postseason points for the eliminated Habs, who fought hard to force a game seven against the Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers.
Matthew Speck covers the Washington Capitals organization for The Hockey Writers. He provides coverage of both Washington at the NHL level and prospect related content. Matthew also covers local sports for the Lebanon Daily News in Central Pennsylvania. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.