The Washington Capitals closed out the 2022 NHL Draft in style, taking two more forwards in Jake Karabela and Ryan Hofer before adding one more defenseman in David Gucciardi.
Karabela went in the fifth round at No. 149. He is coming off a strong season with the OHL’s Guelph Storm, where he put up 13 goals and 33 assists in 68 games. He was ranked No. 62 among all North American skaters.
The 5-11, 170-pound forward is a versatile player who has spent time at center and on the wing. He is a great passer and is strong along the boards, and he also protects the puck well and doesn’t give up on the play easily. Instead, he’s calm under pressure, and he uses his quick hands and patience to his advantage. Karabela also plays with great speed and uses that to drive to the high-danger areas, finishing plays with a wicked shot to boot.
We are only 3️⃣ days away from the 2022 NHL Draft in Montréal!
— Guelph Storm (@Storm_City) July 4, 2022
He was the fourth forward that the Capitals took in the 2022 NHL Draft. He joins Ivan Miroshnichenko and third-rounders Alexander Suzdalev and Ludwig Persson.
Then, at No. 181, Washington went with a big center, selecting Hofer. The hulking 6-3, 191-pound center spent 2021-22 with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, dishing 25 goals and 33 assists in 67 games before posting 10 points in six playoff games. At 20, Hofer is the oldest player in this year’s draft class. He doesn’t shy away from laying the body and is hard to take off the puck.
Did Ryan Hofer really knock a man down with his backside, fend off an oncoming hit then draw a penalty all in the same sequence?
— Everett Silvertips (@WHLsilvertips) April 26, 2022
Lastly, at 213th, the Capitals picked up another defenseman, going with a left-hand shot in Gucciardi. He has great puck control and is a puck-moving defenseman who can join the rush and play on special teams. He also has quick hands and can make plays on the fly.
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The Michigan State blueliner is another overage player who is looking to continue building on his skill set. He will likely thrive with Washington, who is deep on defense.
— Michigan State Hockey (@MSU_Hockey) December 31, 2021