Saturday, November 3, 2007

Capitals Prospects Update

I'm hoping to make this a regular feature where we take a look at the Caps best prospects and how they're doing at their respective levels. This is far from being a comprehensive scouting report; I'm not a pro scout, not do I aspire to be be. Rather it's just a way to keep keep Caps fans aware of what the future may hold.

Karl Alzner (D, Calgary Hitmen, WHL). The 5th overall pick in the 2007 draft has 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists) and is +10 through 19 games with the Hitmen. He has also been named the team's captain. With what young defensemen like Jack Johnson and Erik Johnson have been able to do I'm hoping we could see Alzner in Washington as soon as 2008-09.

Francois Bouchard (RW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL) is doing his best to continue to tear up the Q. After posting 227 points over the last two seasons Bouchard has seven goals and fourteen assists in sixteen games for Baie-Comeau. Since the start of the 2005-06 season Bouchard has put up 85 goals and 163 assists (248 points) in 153 games. The knock on Bouchard is supposed to be his skating, and it may be suspect, but it's hard to put up that many points in the Q without a lot of offensive skill.

Chris Bourque (C, Hershey Bears, AHL) is off to a solid start in Hershey, with three goals and two assists through the team's first seven games.

Eric Fehr (RW, Capitals, IR) has racked up 47 goals over the last two years in Hershey but has missed all of this year with a back/hip injury. I've had trouble finding too much information on the nature of the injury but from what I can gather there's a decent chance Fehr may be out for the season and his career may be in doubt.

Joe Finley (D, North Dakota Fighting Sioux, WCHA) is big (6'7'', 252), mean and physical (think of him as what Jeff Schultz could be if he were aware the NHL is not a non-checking league). He has three points (a goal and two helpers) through seven games with the Sioux this season, although he really is a stay-at-home defenseman. Finley is +3 so far on the year.

Michal Neuvirth (G, Plymouth Whalers, OHL) is off to a pretty good start for a team that isn't supposed to be all that good this year. Neuvirth, who was drafted 34th overall in 2006 went 26-8-2 with a .932 save percentage this year. It could be tempting to chalk his success up to a strong Whalers team if it weren't for Neuvirth's .925 save percentage so far this season.

Keith Seabrook (D, Calgary Hitmen, WHL) is supposed to have a lot of offensive upside I'm told, but he has only one point (an assit) in eight games so far this year. On the defensive side he is -8.

Semen Varlamov (G, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl , RSL) is playing the Russian Superleague, where I believe he is the starting netminder for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. I had trouble finding stats for the RSL but it looks like Varlamov was 15-7-6 with a 2.12 GAA last year and is 8-3-0 with a 2.41 GAA this year. An interesting scouting report can be found here which says his save percentage last year was "well above 90%".

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