Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Alexander Ovechkin: Hockey's Top Prospect

Alexander Ovechkin is hockey's top prospect according to Hockey's Future, which has recently posted a new Top 50 Prospects list for Spring 2006. The Caps are one of five teams (Pittsburgh, Carolina, Nashville and Anaheim being the others) to place three players on the list (the Rangers are the only team with more, having four players listed), as Alexander Semin and Eric Fehr join AO to round out the Caps' representation. Excerpted from the list:

1. Alexander Ovechkin, LW – Washington Capitals All eyes have been on this 20-year-old Russian rookie since the start of the season. Intense and able to score in every kind of way, he’s shown that he’s the most complete young player in the NHL, even while making the often difficult transition from Europe. Currently leading his rookie class in goals, points, shots, power-play and shorthanded goals, he is the favorite to win the Calder Trophy in what is considered the best crop of rookies coming into the league in years. Ovechkin will be a key element for Team Russia in their quest for the gold medal this Olympics. You cannot get more natural abilities from a hockey player than Washington’s charismatic first rounder in 2004. His size, superior sniping skills, and demonstrated ability to put a team on his back give him the slight edge over Sidney Crosby, though there is very little separating the two in terms of potential.


11. Alexander Semin, LW - Washington Capitals Semin is an excellent skater and puckhandler, as well as a deadly shooter. Semin played 52 games with Washington during the 2003-04 campaign, registering 10 goals and 12 assists, but it is unclear whether he will play another game for the Capitals, who selected him 13th overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Washington recently filed suit against Semin and his agent for breach of contract, due to Semin’s failure to report to the Capitals this season. According to Semin, he is serving in the Russian army, however, he has been playing all season for the Russian hockey teams Lada Togliatti and Mytishi Khimik. In 37 games in Russia, Semin has registered 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists). Regardless of the contract situation, Semin’s skill-set cannot be denied.


35. Eric Fehr, RW – Washington Capitals
Fehr has made a successful transition from juniors to pro in the 2005-06 season, beginning with the Hershey Bears (AHL), a performance that earned him a second recall to Washington. The first round draft pick from 2003 has scored 46 points in his 51 games with the Bears, and compiled a total of 49 penalty minutes. With natural scoring ability and a powerful shot, Fehr has the potential to be a top line power forward for the Caps, adding to an already impressive forward crop for Washington which includes Ovechkin and Semin.

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