Wednesday, August 6, 2014

30 Teams in 30 Days - Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals are the 2nd last entry on our trip this year and they've only got one prospect currently playing in the OHL.

Andre Burakovsky - Erie Otters
I was quite impressed by Burakovsky's first year in the OHL. He does a lot of things very well. The most noticeable thing about him is definitely his shot. He has an absolute howitzer and he uses it in a variety of ways. He can fly down the wing and rip one off, using the defender as a screen. He'll set up shop in the slot and on the wing and look for one timers. He creates his own space with speed and puck control in order to get it off. He's a very impressive potential goal scorer. But he's also a pretty smart offensive player too, who works the give and go well and is learning how to create below the hashmarks (when the game slows down a bit). I think I'd like to see him use that speed and skill to drive the net harder, as sometimes he settles for shots from further out instead of finishing drives. And while his 200 foot game wasn't bad at all, he'll need to continue to improve the consistency of his play away from the puck. Next year, two things could happen. He could return to Erie. In Erie, he would jump up to play with Connor McDavid and see a ton of ice time in all situations. In Erie, I'd fully expect him to be a 50 goal man and I think it would be great for his development to continue to gain confidence and round out his offensive repertoire. The second thing that could happen (and is probably the more likely scenario, the more I've thought about it) is that he'll play in the AHL. While he is only 19, he's eligible to play in the AHL because he was drafted out of Europe and not the O. His goal scoring and skating ability is already pro ready and I think he'd be able to jump into Hershey's lineup and score 20 goals next year. I guess we'll see where he ends up. Selfishly, you know what I'm hoping for!

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