Press Release from the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals selected right wing Stanislav Galiev, goaltender Philipp Grubauer, center Caleb Herbert and defenseman Samuel Carrier on the second day of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, held Saturday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
That group, along with first-round selection Evgeny Kuznetsov, gives the Capitals a five-player draft class, matching the smallest in Capitals history (1979). Washington traded two picks (fourth round, 116 overall, and fifth round, 176) to Toronto for a fourth-round pick (112 overall), which it used to select Grubauer.
Galiev, taken with the 86th pick, was the 20th-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting. He had 60 points (15 goals, 45 assists) in 67 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and led all QMJHL rookie scorers in the playoffs with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 21 games.
Grubauer, a German-born goaltender who split this past season with Belleville and Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League, led Windsor to the Memorial Cup (championship of the Canadian Hockey League). He posted a 23-15-2-5 record with a 2.86 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. Grubauer also led Germany to the gold medal in the second division of the World Junior Championship, elevating the Germans to the top group for 2011.
Herbert recorded 55 points (26 goals, 29 assists) in 25 games for Bloomington-Jefferson High School in Minnesota in 2009-10. He expects to play in the United States Hockey League next season before attending college.
Carrier, a native of Laval, Quebec, scored 10 goals and added 32 assists in 66 games for Lewiston in the QMJHL this past season. He led Lewiston defensemen in scoring and saw his point total jump from nine points (four goals, five assists) in his first year with Lewiston.
COMMENTS: When Caps GM George McPhee was asked on Friday night, after Washington selected Russian center Evgeny Kuznetsov, if his scouting staff had a preference for Russian players, the GM stated that his club simply followed their list and took the best player available when it was their turn to draft. So why so many Russians? Well, they are very talented hockey players but some teams are afraid to risk taking them for fear of them not coming over to North America to play. Fortunately for Washington, they have a key ingredient that is sure to provide any drafted Russian hockey player with a reason to come to DC to join the Capitals: Alexander Ovechkin. So when teams pass on these highly skilled players, they remain on the board and when it comes time for the Capitals to select, it is quite often that a Russian is at the top of their list. Makes sense, right?
But is it a good strategy to keep drafting so many Russians? Some will argue that it is hard to win with them but off the top of my head the following players from Russia have all won Stanley Cups: Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov, Slava Kozlov, Viacheslav Fetisov, Alexei Kovalev, Sergei Nemchinov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin, and Sergei Gonchar (the full list can be found here). Detroit had a ton of success with that recipe in the late 1990′s winning titles in 1997 and 1998, so to say the Capitals method of building a team won’t work is pure speculation.
As for the Grubauer pick, some will wonder why Washington traded up to take another goalie when they already have young net minders Semyon Varlamov (22), Michal Neuvirth (22), and Braden Holtby (20) in the organization? McPhee told Mike Vogel over at Caps 365 that his scouting staff really liked him and they had the Windsor Spitfire slated as a 2nd rounder. Thus when he was still on the board in the 4th round, the Caps brass felt it made sense to go after a player they rated as a blue chip propsect and added to their goaltending assets. Competition is a good thing and having seen this kid play during the Memorial Cup, it was definitely the correct move. Grubauer is a winner and despite the fact that he had a super strong team in front of him, he still made the big saves when he needed to, unlike say an Evgeni Nabokov, now formerly of the San Jose Sharks. The bottom line is you can never have too many good players, especially young ones, in a salary cap driven NHL.
Here is the complete 2010 Capitals draft class:
Rd. No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Shoots Birthday Birthplace Team
1 26 Evgeny Kuznetsov C 6’0” 172 L 5/19/92 Chelyabinsk, Russia Chelyabinsk Traktor (KHL)
3 86 Stanislav Galiev RW 6’1” 178 R 1/17/92 Moscow, Russia Saint John (QMJHL)
4 112 Philipp Grubauer G 6’0” 180 L 11/25/91 Rosenheim, Germany Windsor (OHL)
5 142 Caleb Herbert C 5’10” 180 R 10/12/91 St. Paul, Minn. Bloomington-Jefferson HS
6 176 Samuel Carrier D 6’1” 186 R 4/28/92 Laval, Quebec Lewiston (QMJHL)
All draftees have been invited to attend Caps development camp, which begins on Monday, July 12 and runs through Saturday, July 18 at Kettler IcePlex in Ballston, Virginia.