With the June 30 NHL entry draft fast approaching – the Capitals own eight selections, including the 23rd overall pick – we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 prospects already in the organization and a brief scouting/progress report on each.
Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will profile all 10 prospects, in descending order. Today’s top prospect, at No. 3: Dmitry Orlov
Position: Left Defense
Ht/Wt: 6-0, 210
Hometown: Novokuznetsk, Russia
Drafted: 2nd round [55th overall] in 2009
Contract Status: 1 year remaining on 3-year, $2.07 million contract [$67,500 AHL, $740,000 NHL, $900,000 cap hit in 2013-14]
2012-13 Team: Hershey [AHL]
Penalty Minutes: 20
Scouting Report: After playing in 60 games as a rookie under Dale Hunter last season, Orlov saw just five NHL games under Adam Oates this season, picking up one assist and recording a plus-5 rating. His season was interrupted for three months when he suffered a concussion on Dec. 6 in the AHL Showcase game at Verizon Center. The setback allowed Tomas Kundratek and Steve Oleksy to leap over Orlov on the defensive depth chart, but Orlov combines the best attributes of both players – the precision passing of Kundratek and the nasty hitting of Oleksy – to make a push for a roster spot next season.
2013-14 Expectations: Orlov has just one year left on his entry-level contract, but he’s still only 21 and more than capable of winning back his job as the Caps’ No. 4 defenseman behind Mike Green, John Carlson and Karl Alzner. For now, though, Orlov has his work cut out for him. “I didn’t get a fair look at him because he was hurt,” Oates said. “Right now I think he’s got to earn his way in. I know he played the year before and he obviously has great skills and a big body. But I had to go with the guys I had down the stretch. He’s got to earn his way in. Until that happens, you know what? He’s not in the top six.”