With the World Junior Championship currently underway in Malmo, Sweden, it’s worth noting that five Capitals prospects (most since we had six players in 2004) are currently representing their countries in the tournament. Riley Barber, Connor Carrick and Thomas DiPauli were selected to play for the United States, and Andre Burakovsky and Christian Djoos are representing Sweden. Of the five Caps prospects in the tournament, four were drafted by the Capitals in 2012. The lone exception is Burakovsky, who was drafted by Washington in the first round, 23rd overall, in last June’s draft and already notched a hat trick for Team Sweden in the preliminary round against Norway.
The Capitals also drafted Tom Wilson in the first round, 16th overall, in the 2012 draft. Wilson has appeared in all 40 of Washington’s games this season. Wilson continues to improve and grow during his rookie season. We are thrilled with his development, and he appears to be an important piece in the franchise’s future. Team Canada asked the Capitals for permission to have Wilson represent Canada at this year’s tournament, but we felt he was too valuable to our team and it would be best for his development if he remained with the Caps.
Carrick was drafted by Washington in the fifth round in the 2012 draft. After an impressive training camp this season, he appeared in three games with the Capitals to start the season. Carrick scored his first NHL goal against Calgary on Oct. 3, and after he was reassigned to Hersey, he has continued to play well and develop with our AHL affiliate. In four games at the World Junior Championship, the puck-moving, 19-year-old defenseman has collected three assists.
Barber was drafted by the Caps in the sixth round in 2012 and was named the captain for the United States at the World Junior Championship. He has scored four goals and earned one assist in four games in the tournament. Barber is in his sophomore season at Miami (Ohio) University and ranks first on the team in goals, tied for first in points and second in assists.