The Washington Capitals entered the 2012 draft with high hopes. After trading Semyon Varlamov the year before to the Colorado Avalanche, the Caps had not one, but two first-round picks.
Five years later, how does that draft look for Washington? Not so great.
NHL.com decided to re-draft the first round of the 2012 draft as NHL teams prepare for the 2017 draft coming up on June 23. In the wake of winning his second Stanley Cup — while still being considered a rookie no less — Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray comes in as the top overall pick. No. 2? Filip Forsberg.
The Caps took Forsberg with their first pick, 11th overall. He now plays for the Nashville Predators after the infamous trade that netted Washington Martin Erat and Michael Latta in return. The fact that Forsberg can reasonably be considered the second player in the draft just makes that trade look even worse.
Washington also had the 16th overall pick in 2012, which they used to select Tom Wilson. Where was he taken in the re-draft? No. 30, the last pick of the first round. You can credit his 2017 postseason performance for keeping him in the top 30. While Wilson has certainly proven himself as a capable contributor on the Caps physically, it would be fair to say that he has not yet lived up to being the No. 16 overall pick. A phenomenal performance in the playoffs, especially against the Toronto Maple Leafs, likely kept him in the first round.
Others weren't so lucky.
Nail Yakupov, who was taken first overall, was not selected. Neither was Griffin Reinhart, Derrick Pouliot, Slater Koekkoek, Mikhail Grigorenko, Scott Laughton, Jordan Schmaltz, Brendan Gaunce, Henrik Samuelsson, Zemgus Girgensons and Stefan Matteau, all first round picks who fell out of NHL.com's re-draft.
The Forsberg trade will always sting Caps fans. Looking back, the fact that he may be the second best player in that entire draft is just twisting the knife. It's nice to know that Wilson is still among the top 30 though, right? Maybe?
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