The Washington Capitals are Stanley Cup Champions. While DC and the surrounding areas are still partying, the staff is probably focused on defending Lord Stanley’s Cup. That defense begins on June 22 with the NHL draft.
By making only minor trades at the deadline, the Caps have a pick in every round except the fifth, and in the second round, the pick is actually Florida’s pick and not Washington’s. As a result, the Caps have the 31st, 46th, 93rd, 124th, 186th and 217th picks in the draft.
However, the Caps may move up in the draft by trading goalie Phillip Grubauer, who is set to become a restricted free agent. The teams reportedly interested are the New York Islanders and the Carolina Hurricanes, both division rivals. The Caps will most likely ask for a first-round draft pick in return for their netminder.
The Islanders have the 11th and 12th overall picks while Carolina just has the second overall, which they are unlikely to trade away.
A dark horse team as a trade partner could be the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit was 24th in the league in goals allowed this past year at 3.10 goals allowed per game. The Red Wings have the 6th and 30th overall picks, but then also have two early picks in the second round.
According to the website CapFriendly, the Red Wings have over $17 million in cap space opening up the possibility of them taking a big contract like Brooks Orpik’s. Detroit is a rebuilding team, and their current starting goalie, Jimmy Howard is 34, perhaps too old for a rebuilding team. With them expected to have somewhat of a young team, Orpik can be a mentor for some of the up and coming players in Detroit, freeing up more the $5 million in Caps space for the Caps.
While the Caps and their fans are out celebrating in the streets of DC the rest of the league is preparing for the upcoming season with the draft. The draft is where many trades happen, most recently for the Caps bringing in Lars Eller two years ago, so don’t be surprised if the Caps are the dealers for draft picks this season. Their main trading chip, is Grubauer and he may be on the way out.