NASHVILLE — As the 2023 NHL Draft comes to a close, the Washington Capitals have added a new wave of talent to the organization.
Starting at No. 8 overall, the team selected five new players that, one day, may be pivotal pieces in the team’s future success.
Ryan Leonard, forward (1st Round, 8th overall)
Leonard, the sixth-ranked North American skater,
Last season with the U.S. National Team Development Program’s under-18 squad, Leonard was the team’s third-highest scorer while playing on a line with fellow first-round picks Will Smith (No. 4, San Jose) and Gabriel Perreault (No. 23, New York Rangers).
Andrew Cristall, left wing (2nd Round, 40th overall)
General manager Brian MacLellan said the team had a first-round grade on Cristall, himself the 15th-ranked North American skater, according to NHL Central Scouting.
With the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets last season, Cristall led the team with 95 points — 39 goals, 56 assists.
Patrick Thomas, center (4th Round, 104th overall)
Thomas, nicknamed “The Professor,” finished third in scoring with the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs last season. His 56 points came from 17 goals and 39 assists.
Thomas is not ranked by NHL Central Scouting.
Cam Allen, defenseman (5th Round, 136th overall)
The 2022 OHL Rookie of the Year, Allen was the draft’s 12th-ranked North American defenseman by NHL Central Scouting.
With the Guelph Storm last season, Allen finished with 25 points (five goals, 20 assists) — third-highest among the team’s defensemen.
Brett Hyland, left wing (7th Round, 200th overall)
With the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings last season, Hyland finished fourth in scoring with 47 points — 26 goals, 21 assists.
Hyland is not ranked by NHL Central Scouting.
Antoine Keller, goalie (7th Round, 206th overall)
The Capitals traded back into the draft to acquire Keller, the team’s lone goalie selection of the draft.
Keller is not ranked by NHL Central Scouting.