Top Talents Take Edmonton Ice TonightPosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
Over the last several months, the Capital have divested themselves of several former first-round draft choices in the NHL Entry Draft. They dealt David Steckel to the New Jersey Devils last February, opted not to re-sign unrestricted free agent center Boyd Gordon and unrestricted free agent defenseman Scott Hannan and they also swapped right wing Eric Fehr to the Winnipeg Jets in July. Even in having moved out four former first-rounders, the Caps still boast nine players who were chosen in the first round of their respective drafts. Four of those first-rounders – Roman Hamrlik, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Karl Alzner – were chosen in the top 10 of their respective draft years. Hamrlik (1992) and Ovechkin (2004) were chosen first overall in their drafts. The roster of the 2011-12 Edmonton Oilers is also laced with first-rounders, most notably the last two players chosen first overall: Taylor Hall (2010) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2010). Including that duo, the Oilers roster is dotted with 11 first-rounders, a total that includes injured players Ales Hemsky and Ryan Whitney. The Caps will be without former first-rounder Mike Green for tonight’s game. Tonight’s game is a rare one that features the four former first overall draft choices. Among the 20 first-rounders that populate the rosters of the two teams, there are a dozen players chosen within the top ten picks for their respective draft years. In addition to the Caps’ aforementioned quartet of top 10 picks, the Oilers feature Nugent-Hopkins, Hall, Magnus Paajarvi, Ladislav Smid, Sam Gagner, Ryan Whitney, Ryan Smyth and Cam Barker. You’ll be looking at a lot of talent on the ice tonight, and it’s certainly not every night that you get to witness four former first overall choices skating the same ice sheet.
It's been more than a decade since the Capitals have won a hockey game here in Vancouver, but they've only made three trips here (0-2-1) in the last eight seasons. The Caps' last regulation win here was a 3-2 close shave on March 28, 1998. That game was notable in that it marked the Washington