The 1999 Entry Draft was a crucial one for the Caps. Washington had not drafted an impact player since 1993 when it hauled in Brendan Witt, Jason Allison and Andrew Brunette. By virtue of missing the playoffs in 1998-99, the Caps had the seventh overall pick and also had five of the top 37 choices overall.
All six of Washington's top six picks made it to the NHL, but those players have combined to play just 306 games, led by Kris Beech's 198. Three of the team's top four picks (Beech, Michal Sivek and Ross Lupaschuk) were traded to Pittsburgh in July, 2001 for superstar right wing Jaromir Jagr. The Jagr deal didn't work out as either side had envisioned all those years ago.
With the first overall pick, the expansion Atlanta Thrashers chose center Patrik Stefan. Stefan's NHL career was a disappointment; he retired in 2007 after 455 games in the league and a brief stint in Switzerland. Vancouver GM Brian Burke wheeled and dealed his way into the second and third overall picks and used them to select the Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik. Pavel Brendl, Tim Connolly and then goaltender Brian Finley were chosen before Washington grabbed Beech with the seventh pick.
Of the later first rounders, only Barret Jackman (17th), Nick Boynton (21st) and Martin Havlat (26th) have enjoyed any sustained success at the NHL level thus far. Goaltender Maxime Ouellet was Philadelphia's choice with the 22nd overall pick. The Caps later obtained Ouellet from the Flyers in the March 2002 deal that sent Adam Oates to Philly. Ouellet's NHL career consisted of a dozen games.
Some members of the '99 draft class have established themselves as NHL regulars. Among the notable later round selections are Mike Commodore (42nd), Jordan Leopold (44th), Frantisek Kaberle (76th), Niclas Havelid (83rd), Mike Comrie (91st), Ryan Malone (115th), Ryan Miller (138th), Martin Erat (191st), Henrik Zetterberg (210th), Radim Vrbata (212th) and Radek Martinek (228th).
Hindsight is 20/20: Getting Jagr for three picks was a coup, even if the big Czech winger's production was subpar during his days in DC. Taking Ryan Miller instead of Roman Tvrdon at 132 might have altered the course of recent -- and future -- Caps history.
|NO. ||PLAYER ||POS. ||COMMENT |
|Kris Beech ||C ||Dominant AHL player has not been able to break through at NHL level. |
|Michal Sivek ||C ||Dealt to Penguins in Jaromir Jagr deal, had three goals and six points in 38 NHL games. Still playing in his native Czech Republic. |
|Charlie Stephens ||C/RW ||Not signed by Caps, re-entered draft in 2001 and chosen by Avs with 196th pick. Played pro for five seasons (eight games in NHL) before going to Europe. |
|Ross Lupaschuk ||D ||Played four years pro, including three games in NHL. Went to Europe in '05, played in Russia in 2007-08. |
|Nolan Yonkman ||D ||Played in 50 games in injury-riddled career. Still playing in AHL in '07-08. |
|Roman Tvrdon ||C/LW ||Played three pro seasons, including nine NHL games. Returned to Europe in '04-05, hasn't played since '06. |
|Kyle Clark ||R ||Retired after one pro season. |
|192 ||David Bornhammer (Johansson) ||D ||Never played pro in North America. |
|219 ||Maxim Orlov ||C ||Never played pro in North America. |
|249 ||Igor Shadilov ||D ||Never played pro in North America, still playing in Russia. |
Full Draft Results Here