...The Caps are rated 9th in the League, up last year from 12th. Their rankings for the top 10 prospects (and money quotes) are as follows:
1. Simeon Varlamov (12th ranked overall out of the THN 50): "He's a promising butterfly specialist with good hands, quick reflexes and confidence. But Varlamov has to better defend low shots, check his ego and accept the occasional off game."
2. Jon Carlson (27th ranked): "He projects as a sturdy, two-way defender who can create offense as well as control his own zone. [Carlson] can also quarterback the power play or solidify the penalty kill, which gives him the opportunity to show his speed and intuition."
3. Anton Gustafsson: "Gustafsson controls the puck, passes well and is comfortable as a playmaker, but he needs to work on his acceleration and shooting. His defensive responsibility fits well with Washington's current system."
4: Oskar Osala: "Unlike some lean and lanky wingers, he's not a defensive liability, using his skating ability and huge wingspan to his advantage, but he's still learning to make the most of his large frame. For someone so large, Osala could be more assertive with the puck; sometimes a big guy's deadliest weapon is the mere threat of a shot."
5. Michal Neuvirth: "When playing, Neuvirth displays a calm demeanor and big-save heroics that ratchet up his confidence. But he's prone to sluggish starts and gives up too many rebounds, problems that need to be corrected."
6. Francois Bouchard: "Scoring winger plays position Washington needs. Still growing and learning."
7. Braden Holtby: "Workhorse shot-blocker will need a refined game to beat top netminding prospects."
8. Josh Godfrey
9. Stefan Della Rovere
10. Joe Finley