Looking back at the Capitals’ 2009 NHL Draft: How Washington struck gold in the first round

J.J. Regan
The Caps struck gold with their first round draft pick in 2009 and not just because they used it on Marcus Johansson.
The Caps struck gold with their first round draft pick in 2009 and not just because they used it on Marcus Johansson.

Looking back at the Capitals 2009 NHL Draft: How Washington struck gold in the first round originally appeared on nbcsportswashington.com

The NHL Draft takes place on June 21 and 22. The Capitals hold the 25th overall pick and will be looking for future stars among all the hopeful prospects.

But just how successful has Washington been in finding those stars? How much value have the Caps found through the draft?

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NBC Sports Washington will be looking at how Washington has drafted over the last 10 years. Today's draft: 2009

Capitals picks

24th overall pick (first round): Marcus Johansson F

Johansson has played 588 career NHL games with 120 goals, 214 assists and 334 points. He scored 102 of his 120 goals in seven seasons with the Caps. Johansson's time in Washington came to an end in 2017 when he was traded to the New Jersey Devils for a second- and a third-round pick. The second-round pick was originally from the Florida Panthers and turned into the 46th overall pick in the 2018 draft. The Caps used it to select defenseman Martin Fehervary. The third-round pick quite literally helped Washington win the Stanley Cup.

The Capitals traded a conditional third-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks for defenseman Michal Kempny in February 2018. Washington had their own third-round pick and Toronto's, which New Jersey traded to them for Johansson. The condition of the pick was that Chicago would receive the higher of the two which ended up being Toronto's.

55th overall pick (second round): Dmitry Orlov D

The Caps found a top-4 defenseman in the second round with Orlov. He has played in 447 games with the Capitals and, along with Matt Niskanen, has been a part of Washington's top shutdown pair for the last several years. He has cut back on some of the turnovers that plagued his early career and is under contract with the Caps through the 2022-23 season.

85th overall pick (third round): Cody Eakin F

Now with the Vegas Golden Knights, Eakin's current claim to fame is taking a phantom major penalty for his hit to Joe Pavelski in Game 7 of Vegas' first-round matchup against the San Jose Sharks.

Washington certainly found value here as Eakin has played in more NHL games (537) than any other player selected in the third round of the 2009 draft. Only 30 of those games were with the Caps, however, as he was traded to the Dallas Stars along with a second-round pick in 2012 for Mike Ribeiro.

115th overall pick (fourth round): Patrick Wey D

Wey's career ended after just nine NHL games due to concussions. Wey struggled to return to the ice after two concussions and retired in 2015.

145th overall pick (fifth round): Brett Flemming D

Flemming struggled to break through at the AHL level and spent the majority of his time within the Capitals' organization playing in the ECHL. After that, he went overseas. He just completed his third season in the Czech league.

175th overall pick (sixth round): Garrett Mitchell F

Mitchell has put together a solid AHL career and even was the captain of the Hershey Bears from 2015 to 2018. He played in one game for the Capitals and just finished his first season in Europe playing in Slovakia.

205th overall pick (seventh round): Benjamin Casavant F

After putting up some promising numbers in the QMJHL, Casavant played a year in France then played another three seasons in very minor leagues in Canada.

Other picks related to the Caps

The Caps acquired the 45th overall pick from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Brian Sutherby in November 2007. The Caps ultimately traded the pick away to the Montreal Canadiens in February 2008 for goalie Cristobal Huet. The Atlanta Thrashers ultimately ended up with the pick and took forward Jeremy Morin.


This was a really good draft for Washington. Orlov remains a major fixture on the blue line and the team got good value in the third and fourth rounds. Eakin was flipped for a second-line center, which the team desperately needed. Wey looked promising until his concussions completely derailed his career.

The big win, however, was the first-round pick. The Caps turned the 24th overall pick into Michal Kempny, Martin Fehervary and 500 productive games from Marcus Johansson.

That is one hell of a pick.


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