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How the Washington Capitals early playoff exit benefits the Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings pulled off one of the NHL Trade Deadline’s biggest moves last month, acquiring forwards Jakub Vrana and Richard Panik along with a 1st and 2nd round draft pick in exchange for Anthony Mantha.

And though it was a small sample size, Vrana and the Red Wings appear to be a match made in heaven.

Vrana scored eight goals (four in one game against the Dallas Stars) and three assists in the 11 games he appeared in with his new club, and showed that he can be the kind of impactful player that helped the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history in 2018.

Meanwhile, Mantha appeared to be an equally impactful match upon his arrival in the nation’s capital, scoring four goals in his first five games with his new team. However, when it mattered most, Mantha didn’t appear on the scoresheet, failing to score a goal in 15 straight games including the playoffs.

The Capitals were eliminated in a rather quick five games against the Boston Bruins, ending their quest for a second Stanley Cup win in four years. And thanks to their playoff loss, the Red Wings are benefitting.

The 1st round draft pick that Detroit acquired as part of the deal with Washington will most likely fall in the early 20’s range, thanks to Draft order rules. Per the Detroit Free Press:

“If every other playoff team that finished with less points than Washington is eliminated, the Capitals would slot into the 24th pick. But the Winnipeg Jets (63 points) are up 3-0 on the Edmonton Oilers, and, entering Monday’s games, the Tampa Bay Lightning (75 points) needed just one victory to eliminate the Florida Panthers.

It looks like the Capitals pick will fall somewhere in the early 20s range. That’s where the Vancouver Canucks snagged Brock Boeser (23rd in 2015), who already has posted at least 20 goals three seasons, and the Philadelphia Flyers found Travis Konecny (24th, 2015), who has posted three 24-goal seasons.

The bottom line is the Wings will get a shot at drafting a player several spots ahead of where they would have had the Capitals performed better in the playoffs.”

Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings made out like bandits on that trade, and with Washington’s early exit, it’s getting even better.

– – Quotes via Helene St. James of The Detroit Free Press Link – –

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