Caps draft Connor McMichael at No. 25

Ben Krimmel
June 22, 2019 - 1:21 pm
Washington Capitals made Connor McMichael their top pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Kevin Light/Getty Images

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The Washington Capitals selected center Connor McMichael with the 25th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft Friday.

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McMichael, an 18-year-old forward out of Canada, had a breakout season with the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights when he scored 36 goals and tallied 36 assists in 67 games last year. He marks the first time the Capitals have drafted a forward in the first round of the draft since they took Jakub Vrana five years ago. 

“I like to say I’m a two-way centerman, but when I have the puck on my stick in the (offensive) zone, I’m always creating plays,” McMichael told reporters. “I’m always able (to) generate chances when it looks like there’s no chances to be made, but I’m also responsible in my end.”

"So far, it's been awesome and I'm really excited," McMichael said. "I don't think the feeling has sunk in too much yet, but I'm really excited."

McMichael already has a Caps connection as he played in the OHL for former Washington coach Dale Hunter. And the current Capitals leadership is very high on the newest member of the organization. 

"Very, very intelligent player with really, really good hands and a great shot," Caps assistant general manager Ross Mahoney said. "He can score goals. I think he had 36 and 36 (assists). But he is a goal scorer. Some kids score goals in junior, but this kid is a goal scorer. He can play center, he can also play the wing, but like I said it's his vision and his hands. And he is a good skater."

"I think he could probably put up even more points. He didn't get as much power-play time and I know they expect him to play a big role next year and play even more, and that will be really good for him. Like a lot of the younger men who were drafted today, he needs to get a little bit stronger and work on his off-ice to get stronger," Mahoney added.

Chatter around the NHL indicated the Capitals might deal forward Andre Burakovsky after general manager Brian MacLellan said on a conference call with reporters Thursday the team had fielded inquiries about Burakovsky's availability. He may still be traded for additional picks when the draft resumes Saturday, with the Caps holding four selections over the final six rounds.

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