Back in November we took a look at how the Capitals' prospects had started their respective seasons (defensemen and goalie post here and forwards post here), and with the season a little more than halfway done and potential trades being discussed more and more every day, we thought this was as good a time as any to provide another update.
Below are the team's goaltender and defenseman prospects and how they've performed so far this year [Ed. note: statistics current as of 1/18/2010]:
Dan Dunn - Dunn, a 2007 sixth rounder, started the season fighting with freshman Mike Lee, also a member of the United States' World Juniors team, for playing time. Lee's still logged more minutes for the Huskies, but Dunn's generally played well, the highlight of his season is probably his 47 save, two-goal-against performance against the University of North Dakota, in North Dakota last November (h/t to reader Michael Dunn - of no relation).
|St. Cloud State
Braden Holtby -There's not much to say about Holtby at this point, other than that he's done everything the organization has asked of him, playing well at both the AHL and ECHL level. The future looks bright, but don't expect to see him in DC unless injuries or a cap crunch necessitate it.
Michal Neuvirth - Dominance at the AHL level and inconsistency at the NHL level has been the story of Neuvirth's season so far, and at 21 that's quite all right. Most goalkeepers have to take their lumps before they become NHL regulars, and Neuvirth's not any different. Hopefully the experience he's getting now serves as a learning experience, because it'd sure be nice if the Capitals could lock down their goaltending situation for next season while only using up $1.64 million in cap space.
Karl Alzner - Back in D.C. after a stint to ensure his AHL eligibility for the Olympic break, look for the Capitals to become more and more reliant on Azlner down the stretch - something that probably won't be reflect in his basic statistics.
John Carlson - It's been an incredible year and a half for Carlson who has gone from mid-late first round draft pick to a guy who dominated junior, produces in the AHL, can play in the NHL, and was one of the best players on the ice at the World Juniors. It's probably still too early to hand Carlson regular NHL duty, but it'd be very difficult to find a reason to be anything other than thrilled with his progress.
Eric Mestery - A 2008 second round draft pick, Mestery was moved from the mediocre Lethbridge Hurricanes to the first place Tri-City Americans, the team he started his WHL career with. Mestery certainly looked like he had work to do in prospect camp this fall, but it's good to see that his services are being sought by one of the WHL's best teams, and getting playoff action with the Americans shouldn't hurt either.
Zach Miskovic - Signed as an unrestricted free agent out of St. Lawrence University, the hope was that Miskovic would provide the Bears with some offense from the back end, and he's done just that. Caps fans are more than familiar with the team's back end backup at the NHL level, and spaces aren't exactly easy to come by in Hershey either. So, for now, don't expect to see Miskovic in Washington, and just hope he keeps seeing playing time in Hershey and soing well with it.
Dmitri Orlov - The numbers are somewhat underwhelming, but the numbers are always somewhat underwhelming when you're talking about 19-year-old defensemen playing in the KHL. That Orlov's playing regular minutes for Novokuznetsk Metallurg (he averages 15:35 a game) and played well for Russians at the World Juniors are both good signs for his development. Good enough, in fact, that he's hockeysfuture.com's third best Russian defense prospect still playing in Russia.
Patrick Wey - The big-bodied Wey hasn't put up great numbers at Boston College, but he is playing in most of the team's games and, given that he's a guy the Caps probably expect to play out his eligibility before turning pro, that's just fine.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for an update on how the organization's forwards have fared in the young season.