The Capitals draft started a few hours before the actual draft when the Capitals made a big move and acquired a franchise defencemen Erik Karlsson from the Florida Panthers. They also had the very valuble 3rd overall pick and made a very questionable trade.
That was a big statement by the Capitals, as they have been offloading talent the last month and something. Gone are Seguin, Panarin, and Holtby from their division winning team last year and it looked like they will be in a rebuilding phase for the next couple of years. That quickly changed as they saw an opportunity to land one of the best offensive defencemen in the last decade. They traded promising youngster Jake Virtanen, Brayden McNabb and 43 overall for Erik Karlsson. It still is a big risk with Ovechkin commanding big dollars and Karlsson with a 6+ million contract. The reward is far greater, becuase defencemen like Erik are one of a kind. With the youth movement within the Capitals organization and lack thereof a franchise defencemen it might be a necessity the Capitals needed.
Now onto the actual draft...
With the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 draft, The Capitals select from the US National Development Team...Goal Caufield. People already know how much the Capitals GM loves this player, and there are maybe some questions as to why he went so high being 5'7. The simple answer is this kid can score goals, and that is simply a remarkable trait especially in the NEFHL where goalscoring is the best asset one player can have. His positioning shows remarkable hockey IQ atleast offensively, his play off the puck is the most impressive trait. When you have a 5'7 player usually he is on the puck 24/7 but this guy puts himself in a great position to make a play everytime. He didnt need to do too much with the USNDP with JAck Hughes,Zegras and Turcotte on the puck most of the time but he was always in position. The thing that most scout questioned and didnt see enough of was his line driving ability but i think he has that in his arsenal aswell. It was just hidden by the fact of his high quality playmaking teammates, and his role in that was getting into position and scoring goals. Simply put no one scores goals like Caufield does(in this draft at least), his high IQ offensively, his elite shot, and patience(see goal against russia and even in habs development camp although he didnt score). 72 goals.
The Capitals traded away pick 43 to the Panthers.
The Capitals traded the rest of their draft and two other 5th round picks only to move up a couple spots to 63 overall owned by the Hawks. The Commish wasnt too happy about the deal but the Capitals didnt care. They had one guy penciled in that spot and the opportunity was there. Also teams after that pick made it clear that was their guy after the Capitals selected him.
With the 63rd overall pick the Washington Capitals select from the QMJHL Saint John Ice Dogs...Maxim Cajkovic. The Capitals had him penciled in at 43, if they were keeping the pick. They just loved this player, and couldnt afford to lose him. He is probably a top 10 talent in the draft, his skating/speed is great, and his playmaking/shot is great. His overall hockey IQ is decent at best and thats where he'll need to improve. However the biggest problem for him was the team he played for. He not only played for the worst team in the QMJHL, but the whole CHL. His performances with the Slovak nation junior teams were great, and showcased his upside. Most people felt he was a mid round pick, but the Capitals thought they were getting a steal believing his qmjhl team diminished his value a lot.