Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Speaking of new Capitals...

I'm a little late to the party on this one but I'd be remiss if I didn't say something about the Caps first round draft pick this year, Swedish centre Marcus Johansson. Here's some video (in Swedish no less!)

I wasn't so sure about this pick when the Caps made it. Personally, I liked Carter Ashton better, since he was a big guy who could play the wing. I hadn't heard of him being on anybody's radar in the first round, but by all accounts he's your typical Swedish centreman: around six feet tall, good playmaker with solid defensive skills, nothing flashy. The good news is that Johansson played in the Swedish Elite League (maybe the top pro hockey league outside the US) as an 18 year old, which is good, and Caps management liked his performance at the World Junior Championships this year. We'll probably see Johansson in Hershey in 2010-11 I would think, since Swedish players tend to take an extra year in the Elite League before coming over. Hopefully GM George McPhee knows what he's doing with this one.

Meet Your Newest Capital...

...Mr. Mike Knuble.

Deal is for 2 years, $5.8 milly for the ex-Flyer. Love this signing for the Caps. This was the sort of guy the team needed last year. Some beef and some scoring muscle on the front line. Knuble is a garbage goal scorer extradinaire and if he's skating on a line with Alex Ovechkin, he'll get lots of chances for garbage goals. Knuble is a big man (6'3, 230) and was supposedly very popular with the Philly fans and his teammates. As long as he's healthy, Knuble should score 25 goals easily on this team. Plus, as a break from the influx of Swedes and Russians the Caps have added over the last few years, he's a good, all-round American boy (born in Toronto but raised just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan). Oh, and he also was a Caps killer in Philadelphia. Anyone want to remember this double OT goal in the 2008 playoffs?