In preparation for the 2023-24 season, Washington Hockey Now staff have compiled a list of the top 10 Washington Capitals prospects. The final rankings are based on the research and discussions of WHN staff.
Mitchell Gibson, G
Age: 23; Ht-Wt: 6-1, 188; Shoots: Right; Drafted: 4th round, 2018.
Gibson likely would have been a four-year starter in net for the Harvard Crimson if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 pandemic. He comes to the professional ranks having been one of the better netminders in the ECAC over the past couple of seasons, having finished third in the conference in goals against average during both his junior and senior seasons.
Gibson inked a one-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals in April. He joins a deep pool of goalies competing for minutes with the Hershey Bears, including 2023 Calder Cup playoff MVP Hunter Shepard.
Ryan Hofer, C
Age: 21; Ht-Wt: 6-3, 188; Shoots: Right; Drafted: 6th round, 2022.
Fresh off a 40-goal season, Hofer has shown consistent improvement year-over-year during his juniors career. He tallied 23 of those goals with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips before being dealt from the team in January, a total that still held up as the team’s third-highest total come season’s end.
Hofer is expected to join the Hershey Bears this fall, where his ice time depends on whether or not players like Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre break training camp on the NHL squad.
David Gucciardi, LHD
Age: 20; Ht-Wt: 6-1, 185; Shoots: Left; Drafted: 7th round, 2022.
Gucciardi has been an anchor on the blue line for Michigan State the past two seasons. Last season alone, Gucciardi blocked the third-most shots on the team while tallying 10 points — third most among the team’s defensemen.
Gucciardi returns to East Lansing for his junior season, where he’s expected to play a key role as the Spartans push to rise up the Big 10 standings.