March 4, 2021

Capitals select Thomas Wilson at No. 16

At No. 16, the Washington Capitals went for a bit of surprise pick, selecting tough guy forward Thomas (Tom) Wilson from the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. Most recently, Wilson is best known for fighting Dalton Thrower during the CHL/NHL Top Prospects game (an exhibition game) last February.

Wilson, who said after his selection that he had an Alex Ovechkin jersey as a child, actually has some things in common with the big Russian Capital. At 6’4″ and 203 lbs, he’s huge, he’s physical, and he has a mean streak that could rival any NHL tough guy. But he’s not “just” an enforcer.

Though he’s not quite there skill-wise, Wilson’s playing style has been compared to that of Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic. He loves the physical aspect of the game, but can also help out a good deal offensively. Last season with Plymouth, he had 27 points (9g, 18a) in 49 games (Wilson missed a month after fracturing his knuckle on Thrower’s head during the aforementioned prospects game).

Scouts have projected that his statistics will only climb higher next season. In Midget, he averaged well over a point per game, and heading into his second full year in juniors, those numbers and that offensive talent is expected to show through.

He won’t ever be lauded for slick Datsyuk-like goals, but this NHL power forward in the making is the type of player that could be a major X-factor for any team.

Erika Schnure is a Contributor to District Sports Page, specializing in Washington Capitals prospects. She has been a hockey writer since 2010.

Capitals select Filip Forsberg with No. 11 draft pick

As team after team used their picks on defensemen in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals finally came up to the podium with Filip Forsberg, Mikhail Grigorenko, Radek Faksa, and Olli Maata still available for the taking. Prior to the draft, it seemed impossible that such highly-rated players would still be up for grabs at the No. 11 spot, but it left the Capitals with a wealth of very talented options.

With the No. 11 pick (from Colorado in the Semyon Varlamov trade), the Capitals decided to go Swedish. Forward Filip Forsberg — originally ranked as the No. 1 European skater by the CSS, No. 4 by the ISS, No. 2 by The Hockey News and No. 3 by TSN — greeted Capitals general manager George McPhee on stage, where he was handed a red jersey.

Forsberg (as Joe Beninati would say, no relation to legend Peter) is an absolute steal at No. 11, after the previous seven teams in the draft order opted for defensemen and forwards saw their stock start to fall. Forsberg is an incredibly versatile forward with the ability to play both wings as well as center. He’s a two-way forward who could stand to put on some weight, but he has the frame (6’2″) to potentially become a large defensive forward.

Forsberg arguably plays his strongest game in the defensive zone, but his numbers on offense weren’t very impressive in the past year in Sweden’s Tier II professional league. However, he made a splash with scouts at last summer’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament (U-17), scoring four goals in five games. Some scouts say his past season’s statistics should not be indicative of his talent — he has a very strong, accurate shot, is a very good skater, and possesses great hockey sense.

Erika Schnure is a Contributor to District Sports Page, specializing in Washington Capitals prospects. She has been a hockey writer since 2010.

Washington Redskins trade for No. 2 overall pick; Mr. Griffin comes to D.C.?

by Jack Anderson, Special to District Sports Page

A quick flashback to a year ago when the Redskins were in similar predicament to the one they’ve been in for the last 20 years. The Donovan McNabb experiment had blown up in Mike Shanahan’s face, leaving him without a quarterback as Washington headed into a draft full of them. Surely the coach would reload by selecting a Blaine Gabbert or Christian Ponder to start the franchise afresh?

But the Redskins passed on several first round quarterbacks in 2010, preferring to address other areas of need. The comfort level for that class of quarterbacks wasn’t there so Shanahan avoided taking a quarterback simply for the sake of taking one.

One year later, it appears his patience has been rewarded. [Read more…]

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