The 2011-2012 NHL season ended less than two weeks ago, but the league is already preparing for next season. Thursday, the 2012-2013 schedule was released (CBA pending) and Friday, the 2012 NHL Draft begins in Pittsburgh.
The Washington Capitals have a NHL-high 11 selections in this year's draft, which begins Friday with the first round (live on NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m.) and continues Saturday with rounds two through seven (live on NHL Network at 10 a.m.).
For the first time since 2008, the Caps have multiple first-round picks at No. 11 and No. 16. What they decide to do with them, however, is still uncertain.
General Manager George McPhee has maintained that he intends on making both selections, which could go a long way toward restocking the farm system and bringing some top prospects to Washington in the near future. Yet, the Caps have holes -- second-line center, top-six forwards in general -- that need to be filled immediately, so perhaps a trade could happen this weekend. (There were 18 trades between the day before the draft and the start of free agency July 1 last summer.) Coincidentally, the Caps have also made 18 draft-day trades in their franchise history, including four in a row.
For more information regarding what Washington might do this weekend and the NHL Draft in general, here are some helpful local links:
SB Nation D.C.: Capitals Edtior Ted Starkey speaks with New England Hockey Journal's Kirk Luedeke on where the Caps could go with their picks.
Russian Machine Never Breaks: RMNB looks at the best prospects available at each position.
Caps365: Senior writer Mike Vogel sits down with McPhee.
Kings Of Leonsis (shameless plug): Earlier this week, I made an informal guide/FAQ of sorts answering as many question as I can regarding the Caps' draft history and what to expect this weekend.