With the first month of the hockey season gone, we've reached a point where performance and statistics, while still suffering from the problem of small sample size, have enough validity that they can be fairly analyzed. With that in mind, we thought it might be a good time to check in on the Capitals organization's prospects and see how they've started the season off.
Below are the team's goaltender and defenseman prospects and how they've performed so far this year:
Dan Dunn - Dunn, a tall netminder whom the picked in the sixth round of the 2007 draft, is in his third season with St. Cloud State. The good news is that he's playing more than he has in his first two and his numbers look pretty good. The bad news is that he's still not starting in goal for the Huskies, currently splitting time with freshman Mike Lee.
|St. Cloud State
Braden Holtby - Holtby started the season in Hershey, moved to South Carolina when Michal Neuvirth got healthy, and even spent a couple of days in Washington (albeit for salary cap purposes). He started off hot in Hershey but hasn't done as well with the Stingrays.
Michal Neuvirth - Most Caps fans are, at this point, painfully aware of Semyon Varlamov's early season struggles, last night's solid performance notwithstanding. What they might not be aware of is that Neuvirth is having problems of his own down in Hershey. There's no reason to worry at this point, and the young Czech will almost certainly start putting up better numbers before too long, but it's hard not to be a little bit disappointed.
Karl Alzner - Alzner's numbers aren't eye-popping, but when are they ever? Better question: why isn't he in the NHL yet?
John Carlson - Carlson just keeps on impressing at every level of play and he's been a beast in the AHL so far this year, putting up eight points to go along with a nice plus-6 rating. Not to mention he has yet to take a single penalty. I'd say we should expect the Capitals to find a spot for him in 2010-11, but this time last year I would have said the same about Alzner for the 2009-10 season.
Eric Mestery - Mestery didn't look very good in this summer's prospect camp, but the 2008 second rounder has always been considered a project. He's currently playing his trade for a mediocre Lethbridge Hurricanes team, for whom he sports a team-worst minus-8 rating, though is also chipping on offense.
Dmitri Orlov - The Caps second round draft pick from last season impressed both the team and fans in camp over the summer. At the moment he's in the KHL, playing with Novokuznetsk Metallurg, but expect him to be in North America (though not a Caps uniform) next season.
Patrick Wey - Drafted out of the USHL and now playing at Boston College, Wey is a defenseman capable of moving the puck in an already-big (6'2'', 200 pounds) and very projectable frame. Given that he was a fourth round pick and has only played a handful of games so far we can't draw too many conclusions, but it is nice that he's cracking the BC lineup.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for an update on how the organization's forwards have fared in the young season.