[Ed. note: this FanPost originally ran on May 22, 2012.]
Now that we as fans are in the off-season, it is time for a little back-seat general managing. One of the first questions that comes to mind is what the Capitals are going to do with the second round pick acquired from the Avalanche in the trade for Semyon Varlamov. Plenty of ink was spilled on this topic when the trade happened, and now we get to kibbutz over the trade all over again. The choice is up to the Caps, they get the option of either the Bruins' second round pick in the 2012 draft, which will be the 54th pick overall / 24th pick in the second round, or the Avs second round pick in 2013.
The Avs were a lot more competitive than many expected of them this year, thanks in part to Varly's 8-0 record in the shootout, but they still came up short of the playoffs, thus earning the 11th overall pick for the Caps in this year's draft. The Bruins, on the other hand, were again very competitive but got knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. Given that the Avs seem to be improving and were in the playoff hunt down the stretch, it is not clear if the Avs second round pick in 2013 will be earlier than 54th. That said, 24th is pretty far down the list for the second round, and given the franchise's recent history, it seems like there are decent odds that the Avs finish next year with a second round pick close to what they have this year (41st overall), or at least earlier than 54th.
There are more considerations than just the position of the pick, of course. GMGM chose to trade away the Caps' top three picks in last year's draft, so collecting
four three players (edit as per sk84fun_dc comment below) in the first two rounds in this coming draft would do much to restock the prospect pipeline. There also seems to be some hearsay that the 2012 draft is a deep draft, or at least that's what I recall being said when GMGM traded away his top three picks in the 2011 draft. Additionally, this is an opportunity to pick up a player who will potentially see the Bruins on a regular basis, and although this doesn't further hurt the Bruins (they've already traded away the pick), it might become a fun little knife to twist when heckling Boston fans a couple years down the road.
The Caps have two very solid recent second round picks, namely Dmitry Orlov and Michal Neuvirth, although as far as I can tell, none of the other relatively recent second round picks have really helped the team (sorry Chris Bourque). In the end, drafting any player other than a "sure thing" is a crap shoot, and the most fans can hope for is extensive preparation and some really educated guessing by the front office.
So, what do people think the Caps should do with their option on this pick, and what other thoughts do folks have on this choice?
UPDATE 06-15-12: GMGM chose to take the 54th pick in the 2012 draft, from Boston via Colorado. Not quite 60% of you agree with the decision. Thank you for playing.