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Capitals have excellent track record in draft

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Capitals have excellent track record in draft

News and notes as the Capitals’ scouting staff re-assemble this week in Sunrise, Fla., for the 2015 NHL draft at BB&T Center. The first round of the draft will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, followed by Rounds 2 through 7 beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday. NBCSN will carry the first round on Friday night, while NHL Network will pick up the action on Saturday.

Where they pick: The Caps hold the 22nd pick of the first round, followed by picks in the third round [62nd overall], fourth round [113th], fifth round [143rd] and sixth round [173rd].

Remember us?: Last year, the Caps made six selections, including forward Jakub Vrana [first round, 13th overall], goaltender Vitek Vanecek [second round, 39th], and forwards Nathan Walker [third round, 89th], Shane Gersich [fifth round, 134th], Steven Spinner [6th round, 159th] and Kevin Elgestal [seventh round, 1944th]. They have not taken a defenseman in the draft since selecting Madison Bowey in the second round [53rd overall] of the 2013 draft.

Ripe for the picking: Thirteen players who played for the Caps in 2014-15 -- Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky, John Carlson, Eric Fehr, Stanislav Galiev, Mike Green, Philipp Grubauer, Braden Holtby, Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson -- were originally drafted by the Caps.

What’s it worth?: This year marks the first time in franchise history the Capitals have held the 22nd overall selection in the NHL Entry Draft. Other recent notable players to be drafted with the 22nd overall selection include Jordan Eberle [Edmonton, 2008], Max Pacioretty (Montreal, 2007), Claude Giroux (Philadelphia, 2006) and Simon Gagne (Philadelphia, 1998).

Smart picks: Alex Ovechkin ranks first among players drafted in 2004 in goals [475], points [895] and games played [760]. Nicklas Backstrom ranks first among players drafted in 2006 in assists [427] and points [572]. Braden Holtby ranks first among goaltenders drafted in 2008 in games played [178] and wins [101]. In addition, Marcus Johansson ranks fifth among players drafted in 2009 in points [186] and assists [125].

Good track record: Since 2006, a total of 18 of the Caps’ draft picks have appeared in at least one game for the club and have combined to play in 2,792 games for Washington.

Early returns: The Capitals’ 2012 draft class has combined to play in 283 NHL games, ranking first in the NHL.

Goalie factory: During the last five seasons, goaltenders drafted by the Caps have accounted for 167 of the team’s 200 wins [83.5 percent].

Rhymes with Howie: Defensive prospect Madison Bowey captained the Kelowna Rockets to the WHL championship in 2014-15 and led the Rockets to the Memorial Cup final. The 6-foot-1, 202-pound defenseman was taken by the Caps with their second pick in 2013 and was named to the 2015 Memorial Cup All-Star Team. Bowey ranked tied for first at the tournament in assists [5] and tied for second in points [6]. In addition, Bowey led all defensemen at the Memorial Cup in points and assists. Bowey also captured a gold medal with Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. The Winnipeg native earned four points [1 goal, 3 assists] in seven games at the tournament and ranked tied for second among defensemen in points and tied for seventh among all skaters in plus/minus (plus-8).

Euro-friendly: The Caps have drafted a player from Europe in seven consecutive drafts and have drafted 15 European players during that span. Washington has drafted a European player in the first round eight times in the last nine drafts.

MORE CAPITALS: Caps may be reluctant to deal first-round pick

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

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NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

The Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team. With the Caps currently struggling in almost every aspect of the game, consider this: Just where would they be without Alex Ovechkin?

Washington ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.05. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 36. He has scored an incredible 19-percent of his team's goals. No one on the Caps is within 20 goals of the Caps' captain.

That's not a typo. Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks second on the team with 16 goals. No other team in the league has a larger separation between its top two scorers. In fact, only three teams have a difference that's in the double digits: Vancouver (11), San Jose (10) and New Jersey (10).

Ovechkin is almost singlehandedly propping up Washington as a top-ten offense. If you think about just where this offense would be without him, there's a pretty strong case to be made that Ovechkin is as valuable to his team this season as any other player in the league.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is fifth among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With a blue line that has featured two rookies the majority of the season, an aging veteran in Brooks Orpik and that had to deal with an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Few players, if any, are as important to their team's offensive production and therefore its success than Ovechkin has been this season.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!