The NHL draft was scheduled to begin at 7:30, however the Caps got things stated about 30 minutes earlier by trading Brooks Orpik and Philipp Grubauer to the Colorado Avalanche for the 47th overall pick.
The rumors surrounding Grubauer being traded had been swirling since he was not taken by Vegas in the expansion draft. Orpik being involved was a bit of a surprise. However, the Caps were able to get his $5.5M cap hit off the books completely as no salary was retained. The Caps will likely use this salary cap space to sign unrestricted free agent John Carlson.
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan has been in contact with Carlson’s agent multiple times in the last 24 hours.
Caps GM Brian McLellan and agent Rick Curran have chatted a couple of times over the past 24 hrs, each exchanged their positions on what a contract for John Carlson would look like.. my sense is Caps discussing internally how they can do it… must create cap space
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 22, 2018
There are also reports that the Carolina hurricanes offered the 42nd pick, but the Caps did not want Grubauer in the division. The Caps didn’t even want him in the east, for that matter.
MacLellan spoke to the media after the draft about the trade and about bringing back Carlson.
Capitals GM Brian MacLellan on John Carlson: “We’re close. Hopefully we get something done in the next couple of days.”
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) June 23, 2018
There were only a handful of trades in the first round, and the Caps were not one of them. As a result, with the 31stoverall pick, Washington drafted Alexander Alexeyev,18, of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels.
Alexeyev had 37 points in 45 games this year for Red Deer. He is listed at 6’3” and 200 pounds and is a left-handed shot. He is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia.
The Caps will start day two of the draft with the 46th and 47th overall picks in round two, the 93rd in round 3, the 124thin round 4, no picks in the fifth round, the 186th in round 6, and the last but not least 217th pick in the NHL entry draft.