The NHL has seen a marked improvement in many areas in its hundred-and-change years of existence: it’s faster, goalies are more skilled, and, most importantly, the draft day fashion has upgraded.
Gone are the days of ill-fitting suit and undershirts two-sizes-too-big tucked into wide tailored suit pants. In the age of Instagram, the league’s top prospects have stepped up their game for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and are looking sharper than ever!
For the past few years, my dear friend Coos of the Loose Cannons Blog has written a fashion critique which gleefully eviscerates the suit choices of every team’s first round draft picks. Inspired by this, I have decided to break down the Looks of all of the Capitals’ draft picks this year, loosely grading based on: fit, pattern, and accessories.
Admittedly, I’ve yet to see the flash and ingenuity exhibited in the NBA draft, but our boys are not hopeless yet. Though I was disappointed (but unsurprised) by the lack of floral suits, I was pleasantly surprised by a few daring color choices that broke from the sea of navy blue – Edmonton Oilers pick Ryan McLeod made a statement with a light slate blue plaid suit.
Proud brothers Matt & Michael congratulate #Oilers 40th overall pick Ryan McLeod on his #NHLDraft selection! Ryan says his favourite player growing up was his namesake Ryan Smyth. pic.twitter.com/oACttVjxzL— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) June 23, 2018
I’m sure you’re asking yourself, is there a correlation between NHL success and how well you wear a suit? Hard to say, but I would like to point out that the current Calder Trophy winner Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders rocked a daring black velvet suit jacket on his draft day. Intangibles!
So, without further ado, here are my grades of the newest Capitals prospects.
Alexander Alexeyev (First Round, 31st overall)
As the reigning Stanley Cup Champions (that never gets old, huh?), the Washington Capitals had the dual honors of hearing 30 vaguely insincere congratulations and holding the final pick of the first round.
At first glance, I was a little disappointed with Alexeyev’s suit choice, thinking the Red Deer Rebels defenseman played it safe with the navy blue. Upon further inspection, however, I was delighted to realize that the suit had a subtle plaid pattern to it.
Standing 6-foot-3 and 196 pounds, I’m sure it’s not easy for Alexeyev to find a suit that fits as well as this one does. The tapering of the trousers emphasized his height in just the right way and the suit jacket was tailored to make him look slim rather than boxy. I approve!
If I had to nitpick, I would have preferred that his color choices better accentuated the subtle patterning of the suit. A richer blue for the shirt and a subtle pattern in the tie to bring in the minor color of the plaid in lieu of the solid red would suffice.
Regardless of his fashion choices, the young Russian defenseman has already won my heart over with his personality. Already poking fun at a Stanley Cup Champion over FaceTime? Iconic. Perhaps one day his outer style will mirror his inner jokester.
During Alexeyev's brief FaceTime with Ovechkin, he asked him if he'd found any fountains recently. https://t.co/8faAc0mQrf— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) June 23, 2018
Martin Fehervary, Defenseman (Second Round, 46th overall)
The Capitals went with another blueliner with their first pick of the second round, this time opting for Martin Fehervary of IK Oskarshamn.
As far as draft suits go, the Bratislava, Slovakia, native neither disappoints nor impresses. While he opted for a solid navy blue suit like the majority of draftees, Fehervary could’ve done much more to set himself apart from the crowd.
Pairing the dark suit with a white suit and cobalt blue polka dotted tie makes Fehervary look more Hilltern than future NHLer. My suggestion? Wear a lightly-patterned shirt underneath the navy suit and pair it with a complementary tie and pocket square for a more refined look.
I will give credit where credit is due, however. Standing 6-foot-2, Fehervary is another tall teen whose tailor did a fine job making sure the suit didn’t overwhelm his frame.
Kody Clark (Second Round, 47th overall)
With their second of back-to-back second round picks, the Caps took right wing Kody Clark of the the Ottawa 67’s. The son of former Leafs tough guy Wendel Clark wasn’t actually in Dallas for the draft this weekend. Sometimes, the best fashion statement is arriving fashionably late (or not at all). Bold strategy, Kody. Defenseman Alex Kannok-Leipert (Sixth Round, 177th overall) and center Eric Florchuk (Seventh Round, 217th overall) were also absent from the draft.
Riley Sutter (93rd overall)
Again going with pedigree, the Capitals used their third round pick to nab a Sutter – right wing Riley of the Everett Silvertips.
When it comes to the later rounds it’s a bit of a toss up in terms of talent ceiling and fashion, but Sutter certainly made his mark in the latter category. The light gray glen check suit he donned was both stylish and timeless.
With that being said, young Sutter made the mistake of being caught photographed with someone better dressed than him – Silvertips teammate Wyatte Wylie. By pairing a subtly polka dotted shirt with a patterned tie, Wylie masterfully added personality to a sleek navy suit. In comparison, Sutter’s ill-fitting ensemble leaves something to be desired.
Still, when it comes to the color coordination, I think Sutter made the right move going with a crisp white shirt and understated tie. The navy blue paisley pattern of the tie is a nice touch to a classic look.
Goaltender Mitchell Gibson (Fourth Round, 124th overall)
The Capitals used their fourth round pick to take goalie and Harvard commit, Mitchell Gibson.
There’s not much to say about the Phoenixville, PA., native’s suit, due to both a lack of photos and a lack of wow-factor in the photos I did see. Gibson played it safe with a black suit and white shirt, paired with what appeared to be a gray and dark purple (?) patterned tie. If it is indeed a purple tie, it is a nice nod to his junior team, the Lone Star Brahmas.
Caps’ 124th pick, Mitchell Gibson, meets team brass. pic.twitter.com/nMWe4k8ht6— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) June 23, 2018
I have two things to say about this photo. First off, the wide leg fit of the pants is not doing the undersized goalie prospect any favors. A more tapered or straight leg cut would work better with his frame.
Second, the camel-colored wingtips look a bit too casual with the dark suit. Black, dark brown, or even cognac shoes pair better with a black suit.
However, it has been said a smile is the best accessory, and Gibson has certainly taken that to heart. In nearly every photo I’ve seen of him, Gibson has a grin pasted on his face that would dress up any old suit.
Overall, this year’s draft class did a fine job putting together looks for one of the biggest days in their young lives. While I’m sure fashion is the last thing any of them are thinking of, it’s nice to know they won’t have to look back on their five year draft retrospective and see themselves in a hideous powder blue suit.
Good job, boys! I hope you’re lucky enough to spend the next decade agonizing over suit pairings 82+ days a year.