Caps' big risk on Hendrix Lapierre could lead to big reward


Sometimes taking a little risk can lead to a much bigger reward. It all comes down to how confident you are in your decision, and being able to live with the results. 

When the Capitals saw center Hendrix Lapierre still available at No. 22, they thought he was so worth it at that spot they ended up trading up to draft him. 

There's a level of risk though given Lapierre was initially diagnosed with three concussions over a 10-month span, but, according to The Athletic, he was later diagnosed with twisted vertebrae that caused concussion-like symptoms. 

Sounds scary, but not as scary as three concussions over that short amount of time (I think, I'm not a doctor or anything but that seems to be the sentiment).

The Caps decided that on talent alone, Lapierre falling to No. 22 was worth the injury history, and this is a risk that can pay major dividends down the road. 

They wouldn't be anywhere near the first team to weigh a risk vs. reward scenario for a player either.

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We've seen it countless times in sports, even the Washington Football Team dipped in this pool in the 2019 NFL Draft when they traded back into the first round to take Montez Sweat despite some initial health red flags. The Denver Nuggets took Michael Porter Jr. 14th overall in 2018 with his own injury issues, one pick before the Wizards. Porter before the injuries in college could have gone No. 1 overall. 


Sweat has made huge strides and taken on a much bigger role in Washington in year two, and Porter Jr. saw his star rise down in Orlando in the NBA bubble. 

These stories, which still have a lot of chapters to be written, or any other name that you can think of who had a similar start to their career, in no way guarantees Lapierre works out. It's the NHL Draft so you won't see him with the Caps for a while anyway. 

The key here is the front office saw a talent they had much higher on their board, felt confident in his medical history, and were willing to make the leap to take him, hoping he'll be a big piece down the road. 

Whether or not it works out, their process was correct. The Capitals took the best player available with confidence, and that meant more than any risk that came with it.