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NHL Draft 2018: Washington Capitals Select Alexander Alexeyev

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The Caps have added a big Russian defenseman to their blueline pipeline

2018 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With the 31st pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the Caps have selected defenseman Alexander Alexeyev from the Red Deer Rebels.

Here’s where Alexeyev was ranked by the various outlets prior to the draft:

Here’s The Athletic’s Jesse Marshall on Alexeyev:

If you need a gauge of what kind of presence Alexander Alexeyev brings to the table, take a close look at Brian Dumoulin.

Alexeyev, a first-year eligible defenseman, possesses an extremely even-keel approach to the game. There’s nothing about his skill set that jumps off the page. A good skater for his size, Alexeyev isn’t uncomfortable with the puck, has a heads-up approach to skating, and effectively uses his size in transition and along the wall. Similar to Dumoulin, Alexeyev doesn’t possess a ton of pop offensively speaking, but surprises with the occasional drive to the net and has a decent enough level of competency in the offensive zone that he’s able to chip in, albeit in a mostly unspectacular fashion.

And Corey Pronman:

Alexeyev had a strong second WHL season, moving my impression of him as an NHL prospect from fringe at this point last season to a real player. He’s not a game breaker, but he has a lot of positive elements. He stands in at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, skates well for a big defenseman, and can handle the puck fine. He has a real calmness to his game in how he moves the puck. It’s that poise with the puck and his IQ that leads me to think he has a chance to be a top-four defenseman despite not having dynamic speed/skill. I don’t think that projection is a lock, as I have some questions about if his offense in the WHL will translate to the NHL, but he made enough plays this season to get on my radar. Alexeyev is solid defensively, too, using his strength and frame to win battles, and showing good positional play. Alexeyev was a top player for Red Deer despite dealing with significant personal tragedy, as his mother passed away suddenly in the middle of the season.

Highlights:

Welcome to the team, Alexander!