1. Anton Gustafsson - Sweden - 6'2" 194 - center
- was said to be the best all around Swedish player eligible for the 08 draft.
- described as a highly skilled 2-way center.
- will be playing in Sweden's 2nd best league in 08-09 and could be in the Swedish Elite League for 09-10.
2. John Carlson - USHL - 6'2" 212 - defense
- described as a Scott Stevens like player with better offensive skills
- attending the University of Massachusetts beginning this fall
- a question due to lack of quality competition
3. Eric Mestery - WHL - 6'5" 195 - defense
- more of a stay at home defensemen, but can skate fairly well for a big guy
- needs to get thicker and stronger
4. Dmitri Kugryshev - Russia - 5'11" 183 - right wing
- had almost as many points as teammate Filatov (6th overall pick) last season
- is as talented as Filatov but not as fast
- has 2 years left on Russian contract
That takes care of rounds 1 and 2. The following players were selected afterwards and as long as these players stay in the system we will definitely see all of them in Hershey. And some will be in Hershey for an extended period.
5. Braden Holtby - WHL - 6'1" 205 - goalie
Holtby has a significant uphill battle if he expects to be a goalie in the Caps system. There are already numerous prospects that are developing nicely. He was rated the 4th best goalie from North America in the 08 draft.
6. Joel Broda - WHL - 6'0" 196 - center
A good 2-way center that could turn into a top 6 forward in the NHL. He really needs to develop consistency. If he doesn't than the best he will do is 3rd or 4th line.
7. Greg Burke - EJHL - 6'1" 185 - left wing
Seems to be a solid player. He had 21 goals and 25 assists last season in the EJHL. But that competition is even worse than the USHL. He has time to develop but has potential.
8. Stefan Della Rovere - OHL - 5'10" 196 - left wing
Not much out there on him. He looks to be either a career minor leaguer or a guy who gets to play in the NHL but is regularly a healthy scratch.
Obviously all of these players making it to Hershey requires that Washington and Hershey stay affiliated for many years. But I think it was a good draft for Hershey and Washington. There is a ton of talented players in the Washington system and we are just starting to tap into it in Hershey.
News and Notes:
- Jamie Hunt and Stephen Werner were not offered qualifying offers and will become unrestricted free agents on July 1.
- Doug Yingst was named AHL executive of the year, Congratulations Doug!!
- The AHL has adapted a few new rules for the upcoming season, the biggest of which are these 3: teams can now dress 18 skaters per regular season game and 2 goalies, which is up from 17 and 2 the last few seasons; shooting the puck up over the glass from your own zone will result in a delay of game penalty (the NHL already does this); and at the behest of the NHL (meaning they want to see what happens) penalties in overtime, during the regular season only, will be 1 minute instead of 2.