After grabbing Russian goaltender Ilya Samsonov in the first round yesterday, the Washington Capitals entered the second day of the 2015 NHL Draft with four picks. They selected no forwards. Here are the players they selected.
The Capitals traded 62nd and 113th picks for 57th overall selection and chose defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler out of Zurich Lions of Swiss NLA.
Siegenthaler is one of the few players in the Draft that spent an entire season with a top-level professional team, finishing with three assists in 41 games.
#Caps also believe that Siegenthaler will benefit from spending some time in the orbit of similarly built and styled Brooks Orpik.
— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) June 27, 2015
Here are some scouting reports on 6-foot-2, 220-pound blueliner from Zurich.
Siegenthaler has already played two full seasons of pro hockey in Switzerland before his 18th birthday between their A and B division, on top of a ton of international hockey. He’s very physically mature already at 6-3, 220 pounds and has shown he can handle physicality playing against men and projects to be potentially high end in that area in North America.
Siegenthaler is a great skater for a player his size, showing good four way mobility and an ability to get into the attack. He moves the puck well, displaying decent to solid offensive skill with fine vision on outlets and on the power play. Siegenthaler is solid defensively due to his feet and physical play. His reads in both ends could use some work, as he can get caught with his gaps not being controlled well or coughing up the puck too often. His hockey sense is not a huge issue, but it’s not great either.
His biggest asset is clearly his matured defensive mind and great calmness. Siegenthaler is a very solid defender with good size and strength. He is able to shut down opponent players and has good potential to become a reliable stay-at-home defender at the NHL level. Needs to improve his offensive play and rarely gets involved in the opposing team’s zone. Also has room for improvement in his skating skills. If he manages to become more explosive and can improve his offensive skills, he can be a regular starter at NHL level. There are several defenders ahead of him in this year’s draft, so expect him to be a Tier III getting drafted in the early 2nd round.
Jonas is a very effective, workmanlike defender who competes and is a real challenge to play against. Uses his body well and gets into opponents’ space, closing them off. Improving his puck play will allow him to make cleaner passes and better exits from defensive zone and not make for unnecessary defensive work.
NHL comparable: Simon Despres
I love the pick. Caps got another prospect who plays under a former NHL coach (Marc Crawford) in a top pro league. Siegenthaler is already physically ready and may turn into a great stay-at-home left-handed defenseman to complement offensive-minded righties Caps have in their system.
Just like Samsonov, Siegenthaler is still under contract in Europe. His deal with Zurich expires in 2017.
Here’s Siegenthaler’s game at the 2015 World Junior Championship against Denmark. It shows him shift-by-shift.
And the last time Barry Trotz worked with a Swiss defenseman picked in the second round, it turned out pretty well.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) June 27, 2015
The Capitals selected their first Canadian since Tyler Lewington (7th round, 2013) by picking defenseman Connor Hobbs from the Regina Pats of the WHL.
Hobbs, who spent part of the 2014-15 with Medicine Hat and Nipawin of the SJHL, was ranked in top-100 by ISS (92nd), Future Considerations (83rd), NHL Central Scouting (72nd) and Hockey Prospectus (93rd). He was also ranked 18th among WHL players by Cody Nickolet. He finished the season with two goals and 16 assists in 45 WHL games.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) June 27, 2015
Here are excerpts from Nickolet’s scouting report on 6-foot, 187-pound blueliner from Saskatoon:
Connor Hobbs is a toolsy and abrasive two-way defender for the Regina Pats…possesses a rather knock-kneed skating stride. Despite his rough-looking stride he gets around the ice well for the junior level. Has explosive top speed and can change direction quickly and with fluidity. First few backwards cuts have power and allow him to transition to defence quickly. Footwork defensively isn’t always perfect but has shown improvement this season. Edges, footwork and hip angles on defence will need to show more improvement to play at the next level. Passes the puck extremely hard, really whips the biscuit around his own zone and isn’t afraid to attempt frequent stretch passes with somewhat inconsistent results. He will need to improve his decision making with the puck as he gets more experience. Pass reception and general puck handling skill exist but are somewhat inconsistent. He shoots the puck extremely hard, owns a good one-timer, although the accuracy of his shot needs work. He is punishing in the way he plays defence, extremely aggressive with his body contact and often hits to hurt. Picks his spots quite well regarding when he goes to lay hits but it would be an area that could use slight improvement with more experience. Really works hard in his own zone playing an abrasive and up-tempo style of defence. Not afraid to play a bit chippy and be somewhat of an agitator.
The Caps followed up on the Hobbs pick by selecting his teammate on the Pats’ top defense pair, Colby Williams.
20-year-old Williams was in his third and final year of draft eligibility and was unranked by most sources. 5-foot-11, 191-pound D was ranked 203rd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. He registered 11 goals and 30 assists in 64 games last year. Cody Nickolet ranked him 52nd among eligible WHL players.
Here are excerpts from Nickolet’s scouting report.
Colby Williams is an aggressive two-way defender for the Regina Pats. He is a decent skater with a low and powerful stride. Backwards mobility is a noted strength which allows him to keep tight gaps and defend well off the rush. Footwork is also good, allowing for good 1-on-1 in-zone defence and confident play at the offensive line. He likes to get up the ice and help push the offensive pace. passes the puck hard, will stretch out the ice with an outlet. He maintains a rather basic offensive approach, doesn’t do much that can be considered flashy. Owns a big shot and gets it on net. One-timer is a goal-scoring weapon at this level. Defensively he plays rugged, hard and physical. Stick work is above average, which works well with his good gap control. Eats tough minutes for Regina, facing the top opposition every night along with plenty of defensive zone starts. He is a regular in all special teams situations including being an anchor on the penalty kill. His play against Jake DeBrusk in the first round of this year’s WHL playoffs was a huge storyline. He absolutely stymied the Broncos and their star forward on the way to a Pats sweep.
Williams also was teammates with the Caps’ center prospect Chandler Stephenson for two seasons.
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