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2023 NHL Draft

MacLellan: Capitals ‘Excited About Where We’re Picking’



Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan takes questions from the media.

Connor Bedard isn’t in the cards for the Washington Capitals, but that hasn’t quieted the team’s front office.

The Capitals secured the No. 8 draft pick in June’s NHL entry draft based on the results of Monday night’s draft lottery, putting them in prime position to take advantage of one of the deeper draft classes in recent years.

“There was a chance that we could move up — it was a low percentage, but you’re still hopeful or get excited that it’s a possibility,” general manager Brian MacLellan told NBC Sports Washington. “In the end, we stayed at eight. It’s still a good pick. Our guys are excited about the depth of this draft. I think we’ll get a good player at eight, a player that we can build around, and guys are excited about it.”

This summer’s draft features the team’s first top 10 pick since selecting Karl Alzner in 2007, and is the team’s first lottery pick since 2014. It’s expected that they will miss out on some of the draft’s elite, such as Connor Bedard and Hobey Baker Award winner Adam Fantilli, but many prospects within the draft’s second tier have drawn rave reviews for their future potential — more so than in other years.

“There’s a lot of good players right at the top,” MacLellan said, “and then there’s a group right under that that our guys are excited about — a lot of good forwards, a couple good defensemen, so we’ll see.”

In the most recent post-lottery mock drafts, the Capitals have had a wide range of projections, such as center Dalibor Dvorsky or defensemen David Reinbacher and Axel Sandin Pellikka.

“We’ll do a lot of homework here down the stretch and see what we can come up with and hopefully make a good pick,” MacLellan said.

The NHL Draft begins on Wednesday, June 28 with the first round from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Rounds 2-7 will take place the next.

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