Only once in their 45-year history in the league have the Capitals owned and exercised the 25th overall pick in an NHL draft. That was in 1991 when the Caps used what was then a second-round pick to take defenseman Eric Lavigne from Hull of the Quebec League. Lavigne never signed with the Caps, and his NHL career consisted of one game with Los Angeles during the 1994-95 season.
In this century, Washington has had good success choosing in the general area of where their first pick is this summer. The Caps got Brian Sutherby at No. 26 in 2000, they took Jeff Schultz at No. 27 and Mike Green at No. 29 in 2004, they chose Semyon Varlamov at No. 23 in 2006, John Carlson at No. 27 in 2008, Marcus Johansson at No. 24 in 2009, Evgeny Kuznetsov at No. 26 in 2010 and Andre Burakovsky at No. 23 in 2013.
Whether the Caps hold onto that No. 25 choice and whether they add or subtract more picks remains to be seen, but in the meantime, we're taking a look back at draft history to see which players have been chosen at No. 25 over the years. Beginning with the 1969 draft - generally considered the first of the "modern" drafts - here's a look at all the skaters chosen at No. 25 that went on to play at least 250 games in the league. For goaltenders, we set the threshold at 100 NHL games.
1969 - Back in the Original 12 days of 1969, the 25th overall pick was the first choice of the third round. Minnesota used the choice to tab goaltender Gilles Gilbert, who went on to enjoy a 415-game career in the NHL, spread over 14 seasons with three different teams. Gilbert was the second goaltender drafted in 1969; Detroit went with Jim Rutherford - now Pittsburgh's GM - with its first-round choice (10th overall).
1970 - The New York Rangers grabbed right wing Mike Murphy at No. 25 overall in 1970, a late second-round pick in what was a fertile draft. Of the 24 players chosen ahead of Murphy, only two never played in the NHL. The Blueshirts dealt Murphy to St. Louis, where he debuted in the NHL and played his first two seasons before returning to Broadway in a 1973 deal. Murphy skated in 831 NHL contests spread over a dozen seasons, mostly with Los Angeles. Murphy had six 20-goal seasons in the NHL and went on to serve as both a head coach (for the Kings and Leafs) and assistant coach for several teams before taking a post with the league. He currently serves as the NHL's senior VP of hockey operations.
1972 - The Buffalo Sabres chose defenseman Larry Carriere with the 25th overall choice in the 1972 Amateur Draft. Carriere played collegiate hockey at Loyola College under Dave Draper, who later had a lengthy career as an NHL scout. Carriere played 367 games over seven NHL seasons before going on to his own long career as an NHL scout and executive. He is currently an assistant GM with Montreal, and is also the GM of the Canadiens' AHL Laval team.
1974 - This was the Caps' first draft upon joining the league along with Kansas City in 1974-75, swelling the NHL's ranks to 18 teams at the team and making the 25th pick an early second-round choice. The Boston Bruins wisely chose defenseman Mark Howe with the pick, grabbing Gordie's son as a 19-year-old who had already turned in one stellar rookie season with the World Hockey Association's Houston Aeros where he famously played alongside his legendary dad and brother Marty. The Howes stayed in the WHA for the duration of the league's existence, and Gordie returned to the NHL and his sons debuted in the league with Hartford in 1979-80, when the two major leagues merged. Playing mostly for Philadelphia, Mark Howe went on to a Hall of Fame career of his own, logging 929 NHL and 426 WHA games over 22 seasons.
1977 - Minnesota snagged rambunctious left-winner Dave Semenko at No. 25 in the 1977 NHL Amateur Draft. Semenko opted to join Edmonton of the WHA instead, and after two seasons with the Oilers in the WHA, he spent most of his nine-year, 575-game NHL career in Edmonton where he rode shotgun for Wayne Gretzky and helped the Oilers to Stanley Cup titles in 1984 and 1985. Semenko scored the last goal in WHA history in May of 1979.
1979 - The New York Islanders selected Swedish defenseman Tomas Jonsson at No. 25 in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Jonsson came to North America and debuted in the NHL in 1981-82, playing 552 NHL games over eight seasons, all but 20 of them with the Islanders. He played for Cup champion teams on the Island in each of his first three seasons in the NHL, and went on to play nine more seasons as a pro with Leksands IF in his native Sweden after his playing days in the States. He scored at least nine goals in each of his first five seasons in the NHL.
1980 - With the 25th pick in the 1980 NHL Entry Draft, the Maple Leafs chose defenseman Craig Muni. Although Muni only played 19 games scattered over four seasons with Toronto, he went on to enjoy a 16-season NHL career with seven different teams, a run that included 819 regular season games and a trio of Cup titles with Edmonton in 1987, 1988 and 1990.
1982 - The Maple Leafs used the No. 25 pick in the 1982 draft on forward Peter Ihnacak. The older brother of ex-NHL player Miroslav Ihnacak, the Ihnacak brothers hold the distinction of being the first pair of European brothers - and the first pair of non-twin European brothers - drafted into the NHL in the same draft. Peter Ihnacak scored 28 goals as an NHL rookie with the Leafs in 1982-83, and that turned out to be his best season in an eight-year NHL career that spanned 417 games, all with Toronto. After leaving the NHL, he played professionally in Germany and Switzerland through 1996-97. The Leafs took Miroslav Ihnacak in the ninth round (No. 171 overall) of the 1982 draft. Peter is currently a scout with the Caps.
1983 - Ex-Caps assistant coach Lane Lambert was the 25th player chosen in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft; the Red Wings picked him with their second choice after taking Steve Yzerman with their first-round choice (fourth overall) that summer. Lambert and Yzerman both debuted with Detroit in the same game as teenagers in the fall of 1983, and Lambert scored a career high 20 goals as an 18-year-old in '83-84. He later played for the Rangers and the Quebec Nordiques in a six-year NHL career in which he logged 283 games.
1984 - Blueliner Todd Gill went to Toronto with the 25th overall pick in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. He debuted with the Leafs as a teen in 1984-85, spending the first dozen years of his 19-year, 1,007-game NHL career with Toronto. Gill's career stretched into the new millennium; he finished up with Chicago in 2002-03, the seventh NHL team for which he toiled.
1987 - Calgary chose left wing Stephane Matteau with the No. 25 overall pick in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. Matteau spent the first couple of seasons of his 16-year NHL career with the Flames, the first of his six NHL employers. Although he played the lion's share of his 848-game, 13-season career with San Jose, Matteau's biggest moment came with the Rangers in the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs. In overtime of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final against New Jersey, Matteau scored the game-winner that propelled the Blueshirts to the Cup Final, and eventually their first Stanley Cup title in 54 years.
1990 - The Philadelphia Flyers chose lumbering left wing Chris Simon with the 25th overall choice in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft. Two years after he was drafted - and without ever pulling on a Flyers sweater - Simon was shipped to Quebec as part of the payment in the blockbuster deal for Eric Lindros. Simon spent three seasons with the Nordiques and moved with them to Colorado in 1995, playing for the Cup-champion Avs team in 1995-96. On Nov. 2, 1996, he came to Washington in a deal that sent Keith Jones to Colorado. Simon spent the next six years with the Caps, posting a career-high 29 goals in 1999-00. He was traded to Chicago along with Andrei Nikolishin for Michael Nylander on Nov. 1, 2002. Simon skated for six different NHL teams in his final five seasons in the league, and he spent five more seasons in Russia's KHL after his NHL playing days were done. Simon played 320 of 782 NHL games in a Capitals sweater.
1993 - Center Keyvn Adams was born in D.C. on Oct. 8, 1974, the day before the Caps played the first game of their NHL existence. Along with Bill Nyrop and Jeff Halpern, Adams is one of only three players in league history who were born in the nation's capital. The Boston Bruins chose Adams with the 25th pick in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft - the first year in which No. 25 was a first-round choice - but he never signed with or played with the B's. Adams signed with Toronto as a free agent in 1997, and went on to play 540 games as a bottom-six NHL forward with six different teams. Adams played primarily with Carolina, and he was a member of the Hurricanes' 2006 Stanley Cup championship team.
1995 - Marc Denis was the No. 25 pick in 1995, going to Colorado. Denis was the fourth goaltender chosen in the first round that summer, following Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Hartford, No. 13), Martin Biron (Buffalo, No. 16) and Brian Boucher (Philadelphia, No. 22). Denis debuted with the Avalanche in 1996-97, and was later traded to the expansion Columbus franchise before the Jackets played their first game in the league. Denis played for four different NHL teams, but played 266 of his 349 NHL games with Columbus.
1997 - Dallas grabbed Brenden Morrow at No. 25 in 1997, and Morrow turned out to be one of the better players chosen at that slot in the history of the draft. He spent 15 seasons in the league, and he logged 835 of his 991 career NHL games with the Stars. He reached the 20-goal plateau seven times with Dallas, topping out with 33 markers in 2010-11. Morrow played in 118 career playoff games, but narrowly missed the Stars' Stanley Cup run in the spring of 1999. He debuted with Dallas in the fall of that year.
1998 - Detroit chose defenseman Jiri Fischer at No. 25 in 1998, and Fischer appeared to be headed toward a productive career before fate intervened. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound defenseman broke in with the Wings in 1999-00, and he established himself as a top four defender in Motown, along with Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios and Mathieu Schneider. In a Nov. 21, 2005 game against Nashville, Fischer went into cardiac arrest on the Detroit bench. Team medical staff was able to quickly treat him and ultimately save his life, but his career was over at the age of 25. He played in 305 games, all with the Wings.
2000 - Dallas chose irascible center Steve Ott with the 25th pick in 2000. He spent nine seasons with the Stars before moving on to Buffalo, St. Louis, Detroit and Montreal in a 14-year career that ended in 2016-17 after 848 games. Ott is now an assistant coach with the Blues.
2002 - Carolina chose goaltender Cam Ward at No. 25 in 2002, the second netminder drafted that summer after Kari Lehtonen went to Atlanta with the second overall pick. Ward debuted in the NHL In 2005-06, helping the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup championship and earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as a 21-year-old rookie. Ward won 318 games in 13 seasons with the Canes before moving on to Chicago last season.
2003 - Big (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) right wing Anthony Stewart went to Florida with the No. 25 pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. His brother Chris was a first-round pick (18th overall to Colorado) in the 2006 draft. Anthony Stewart spent the first four seasons of his NHL career with the Panthers before moving on to Atlanta and Carolina. He skated in 262 NHL games over a six-year career. From 2005-06 through the 2017-18 season, one or both Stewart brothers played in the NHL. Both brothers continued their respective careers in Europe after their NHL playing days were done.
2005 - Edmonton opted for fleet-footed center Andrew Cogliano at No. 25 in 2005. Aside from his wheels, he is noted for his durability. Cogliano played in 830 consecutive games - the longest current iron-man streak in the league at the time - before a two-game suspension killed his streak in January, 2018. Cogliano played the first four seasons of his NHL career with the Oilers before moving on to Anaheim, where he spent seven and a half seasons before a midseason deal brought him to Dallas earlier this year. Now 31, Cogliano has played 944 NHL games and is under contract for the next two seasons.
2006 - St. Louis snagged center Patrik Berglund with the 25th pick in the 2006 draft. He spent 10 seasons with the Blues, reaching the double-digit level in goals every season and posting 20 or more goals in three of those campaigns. Last summer, Berglund was dealt to Buffalo as part of the package that brought Ryan O'Reilly to St. Louis. After 23 games with the Sabres in 2018-19, Berglund left the team, his NHL career seemingly at an end after 717 games.
2014 - Boston selected winger David Pastrnak with the 25th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, and Pastrnak has gone on to establish himself as an elite scoring talent in just 320 games in the league. He scored 10 goals as a rookie in 2014-15 and followed up with 15 the next season, but he has now reeled off three straight seasons with at least 34 goals. In 2018-19, Pastrnak managed to record a career-high of 38 goals despite missing 16 games with injuries.