For the second straight summer, the NHL will conduct its annual draft of amateur players remotely. Last year's draft also took place remotely on Oct. 6-7, 2020 after the COVID pandemic forced postponement of the event, which was originally slated to be held in Montreal in June of 2020. The first round of this year's draft will start at 8 p.m. tonight on ESPN2; rounds 2-7 will be conducted starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, airing on The NHL Network.

Although it's typically held in late June of every year, the draft has been held in April (in 1966), it's been held in May (in 1973 and 1974) and it's been held in August (in 1979). Last year's draft was the first ever held in October, and this year's Draft will join the 2005 event as just the second held in the month of July.
Having traded their 2021 first-round pick to Detroit in an April 12 deal for Anthony Mantha, the Caps won't make their first selection in the 2021 Draft until late in the second round, at pick No. 55. Washington also does not have a seventh-round choice in this draft; that pick was moved to the Penguins at last October's draft. The Caps used the pick - No. 211 overall in 2020 - to select Swedish left wing Oskar Magnusson.
The Capitals have five picks in the 2021 Draft, holding one selection in each round from two through six. Except for the third round, all of Washington's 2021 picks are its own. The Caps' third-round choice (No. 75 overall) was obtained from New Jersey in an April deal for defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler. The Devils acquired the pick from the Coyotes in the Dec. 2019 swap that sent Taylor Hall from New Jersey to Arizona.
Here's a historical look at some of the better and/or more noteworthy picks made in the slots where Washington will be making its choices in this draft.
Pick No. 55
1969 -Although the League conducted its first annual draft in 1963, the 1969 Amateur Draft is generally considered the first of the "modern" era. Only a small handful of players were chosen in those early drafts. In 1969, the 55th overall selection came in the middle of the fifth round, and the Toronto Maple Leafs used it to choose winger Brian "Spinner" Spencer, who would go on to play 553 games in the NHL. Spencer's career and life were both marred by tragedy, and he would die of a gunshot wound in South Florida at the age of 38 in 1988.
1971 - By 1971, the League had grown from 12 to 14 teams, and the No. 55 pick was the penultimate pick of the fourth round of the draft. The New York Rangers used the selection to take right wing Jerry Butler, who went on to an 11-year NHL career in which he scored 99 goals while sporting the sweaters of five different NHL clubs.
1972 - Philadelphia chose forward Al MacAdam with the 55th overall pick in 1972, and although he played in only five games with the Flyers as a rookie, he went on to enjoy an 864-game career in the League, scoring a career high of 42 goals for Minnesota in 1979-80. MacAdam captained the NHL's Cleveland Barons before the team folded and merged with Minnesota after the '77-78 season.
1974 - In the first amateur draft of its NHL history, Washington owned pick No. 55 - the first choice in the fourth round - and exercised it on left wing Paul Nicholson, who played 62 NHL games in a three-year career. Nicholson skated in 39 of those games in the Caps' inaugural season of 1974-75, scoring all four of his career goals that season.
1975 - For the second straight year, the Caps made the 55th overall pick to start off the fourth round of the draft. They chose defenseman Blair MacKasey, whose NHL career was limited to a single game with Toronto during the 1976-77 season. The Caps sold MacKasey to the Leafs on Sept. 27, 1976, and he played in his only NHL game just over a week later. MacKasey, a native of Verdun, Que., also played two seasons of minor league baseball in the Montreal Expos' system. He had a long career as an NHL scout after his playing days were finished.
1978 - For the fourth time in its brief history, the Caps owned pick No. 55 overall in 1978. They used it to select one of their star players from the 1980s, center Bengt Gustafsson. After playing his first post-draft season in his native Sweden in 1978-79, Gustafsson came to North America at the tail end of that campaign, signing with the Edmonton Oilers of the WHA in March of 1979. Gustafsson skated in two playoff games with the Oilers in the final days of the WHA that spring, and Washington reclaimed his rights in the 1979 NHL expansion draft, when four of the six WHA teams merged with the 17 existing NHL clubs to form a 21-team circuit. Gustafsson spent nine of the next 10 seasons in Washington, returning to Sweden for the '86-87 season. Gustafsson famously scored five goals in a game against Philly in 1984, the first Caps player to achieve the feat. He totaled 195 goals and 554 points in 629 career regular season games in the NHL, all with Washington. Gustafsson returned to Europe at the age of 31 and played another decade there, four seasons in Sweden and six in Austria.
1979 - Buffalo grabbed goaltender Jacques Cloutier with the 55th overall pick in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, one of the most fertile drafts in League history. Cloutier carved out a 12-year NHL career with Buffalo, Chicago and Quebec, primarily as a backup. He played 255 games, hitting a career high of 43 with the Blackhawks in 1989-90.
1980 -For the fifth time in seven drafts, the Caps found themselves picking at No. 55 in 1980. The pick was forward Torrie Robertson, a tough guy from Victoria of the WHL. Robertson skated in 442 games over a 10-year NHL career with Washington, Hartford and Detroit, racking up 1,751 PIM along the way. The Caps got good value when they traded Robertson to the Whalers for Greg Adams (of Plumber Line fame) in October of 1983.
1982 - Quebec grabbed goaltender Mario Gosselin at No. 55 in 1982. Serving mostly as a backup, Gosselin enjoyed a seven-year NHL career with Quebec, Los Angeles and Hartford, appearing in 241 games. Gosselin also represented Canada at the 1984 Olympics.
1983 - Calgary chose forward Perry Berezan at No. 55 in the 1983 draft. Berezan played in 378 NHL contests over a nine-year NHL career. Months before the Flames won the only Stanley Cup title in franchise history in 1989, Berezan was dealt to Minnesota in the deal that brought current Caps GM Brian MacLellan to Calgary. Berezan was also an original member of the San Jose Sharks in 1991-92.
1985 - The New York Islanders tabbed defenseman Jeff Finley with the 55th overall pick in the '85 draft. Finley played in 708 regular season games over a 15-year NHL career with five different franchises. Finley spent at least part of the season in the minors in nine of those 15 campaigns. Finley's son Jack - also a defenseman - was a second-round pick (57th overall) of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2020 NHL Draft.
1986 -Minnesota chose defenseman Rob Zettler with the 55th overall pick in 1986. Zettler went on to a 569-game career as a journeyman blueliner, playing for six different clubs over parts of 14 seasons in the NHL. Zettler played 90 games in Washington, playing the final three seasons of his career here in the District. He has been an assistant coach for many years in the NHL, and he will have his name etched onto the Stanley Cup as an assistant with the 2020-21 Tampa Bay Lightning.
1992 - Boston chose center Sergei Zholtok with pick No. 55 in the 1992 draft. The Latvian pivot debuted in the NHL the following season, getting into a game with Boston after scoring 31 goals for AHL Providence in 1992-93 where current Caps coach Peter Laviolette was among his teammates. Zholtok played for six teams in an NHL career that spanned 10 seasons and 588 games. Diagnosed with arrythmia in 2003, Zholtok tragically passed away during a game in Belarus early in the 2004-05 season while playing there during the season-long NHL lockout. He was only 31.
1995 - Anaheim chose forward Mike LeClerc at No. 55 in 1995. The forward played in 341 NHL games over a 10-year career with three teams, reaching the 20-goal plateau with the Mighty Ducks in 2001-02 and playing in the Stanley Cup final with Anaheim the following season.
2000 - The Ottawa Senators made one of the better selections ever at No. 55 in 2000, taking center Antoine Vermette in this slot. Over a 14-year NHL career, Vermette established himself as a solid, two-way second line center, playing in 1,046 games for five different clubs. He played in the Cup Final with Ottawa in 2007 and hoisted the hardware just under a decade later, in 2015 with Chicago.
2001 - Buffalo made another solid selection here at No. 55 in 2001, snagging winger Jason Pominville, who ended up skating in 1,060 games over the course of a 15-year career with the Sabres and the Wild. He reeled off six straight seasons with 20 or more goals for Buffalo at one point, playing all 82 games in five of those six seasons. Pominville reached the 30-goal plateau three times in his career, topping out at 34 in 2006-07.
2005 -Columbus chose defenseman Adam McQuaid with pick No. 55 in 2005. Traded to the Bruins for a draft pick in 2007, McQuaid didn't suit up for the Blue Jackets until he was dealt from the Rangers to Columbus at the trade deadline in 2019. He skated in the last 14 of his 512 career games with the Jackets that season. When healthy, McQuaid was a rugged regular on the Boston blueline for several seasons, and he helped the Bruins win the Cup in 2011.
2007 - Colorado picked left wing T.J. Galiardi at No. 55 in 2007. After he was drafted, Galiardi left Dartmouth University for a season with Calgary of the WHL, turning pro and making his NHL debut in 2008-09. He had 15 goals and 39 points as a sophomore NHLer in 2009-10, but those ended up being career highs. He skated in 321 games with four NHL clubs, and spent three seasons in Europe before concluding his career in the KHL in 2017-18.
2008 - Minnesota chose defenseman Marco Scandella with the 55th overall selection in 2008, and he just concluded his 11th season in the League, skating for St. Louis in 2020-21. Scandella needed fewer than 100 games worth of AHL seasoning before climbing to the NHL for good once the lockout of 2012-13 was over. Scandella has totaled 45 goals and 126 points in 629 career games in the NHL.
2009 - Washington owned pick No. 55 in 2009, and it wisely exercised the choice on defenseman Dmitry Orlov. After overcoming some early career injuries, Orlov developed into a sturdy and reliable two-way blueliner in D.C., skating in 400 consecutive games before an appearance on the COVID protocol list halted that streak this past January. Now 567 games into his NHL career, Orlov has been a top four fixture in Washington since 2015-16, helping the team win the Cup in 2018. He remains under contract for the next two seasons and was one of three defensemen on the Caps' protected list for the 2021 expansion draft.
2012 - With pick No. 55 in the 2012 draft, San Jose chose center Chris Tierney from London of the OHL. Tierney turned pro in 2014-15 and needed only 31 games worth of AHL seasoning before reaching the NHL, where he has totaled 67 goals and 208 points in 491 games. The Sharks sent him to Ottawa in the Erik Karlsson trade in September of 2018, and he has spent the last three seasons with the Sens.
2013 -Montreal chose left wing Artturi Lehkonen with the 55th pick in the 2013 draft. After his draft year, Lehkonen played another season in his native Finland and two more in the Swedish league before coming to North America and landing a spot on the Montreal roster in 2016-17. He has been a solid two-way player and penalty killer for the Habs for five seasons now. Still only 26, Lehkonen has played 338 NHL games and helped the Canadiens reach the Stanley Cup Final this year.
2014 - Anaheim chose blueliner Brandon Montour at No. 55 in the 2014 NHL Draft. Montour played another season in the USHL and one with UMass-Amherst before turning pro at the tail end of the 2014-15 season. After 118 AHL games spread over three seasons, Montour climbed to the NHL level midway through the 2016-17 campaign and he has remained their since. The Ducks dealt him to Buffalo at the 2019 trade deadline and the Sabres shipped him to Florida in April of this year. Montour piled up a career-high 56 points in his second full NHL season in the NHL, but his production declined during his time in Buffalo. He has totaled 109 points in 293 games in the League.
Pick No. 75
1979 - The Atlanta Flames chose forward Jim Peplinski at No. 75 in 1979. Peplinski played his entire 11-year NHL career with the Flames - he relocated along with the franchise to Calgary in 1980 - skating in 711 regular season games and having his name etched onto the Stanley Cup in 1989. Peplinski was the last member of the original Calgary Flames to play continuously for the team.
1980 - St. Louis chose center Bob Brooke from Yale University with the 75th pick - a fourth-rounder in those days - in the 1980 draft. After playing on the U.S. Olympic Team in 1984, Brooke skated in 443 games during a seven-year NHL career with the Rangers, Minnesota and New Jersey. The Blues dealt him to New York just after the Olympics, and he became the first Yale product to play in the NHL. During the course of his NHL career, he played all three forward positions and also skated half a season on the blueline for the '87-88 North Stars. Brooke never played a single game in the minors, a rarity for a fourth-round choice. At Yale - where he was a Hobey Baker finalist in 1982-83 - Brooke also played shortstop on the varsity baseball team and he was a teammate of future major league Ron Darling.
1982 -Winnipeg took defenseman Dave Ellett with the 75th overall selection in 1982. Ellett skated in 1,129 NHL games during a 16-year NHL career, 10th most among the 252 players chosen in the '82 draft. Drafted out of Bowling green University, Ellett never spent a single day in the minors. He scored a career high 22 goals in 1988-89, becoming the first Jets blueliner ever to crack the 20-goal barrier.
1983 - Washington selected forward Tim Berglund with the 75th overall pick in 1983. Berglund spent parts of three seasons with Caps before being chosen by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1992 NHL expansion draft. Berglund later returned to the Caps after being reclaimed off waivers, playing the last three of his 182 career games here in 1993-94. Berglund spent the last six seasons of his pro career skating for Atlanta and then Chicago in the now defunct IHL.
1998 - Ending a rather long drought at pick No. 75, Montreal chose defenseman Francois Beauchemin in this slot in the 1998 draft. Beauchemin enjoyed a 14-year career in the NHL, playing 903 games and winning the Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007. Only the very first of those 903 games in the League was played in a Habs sweater; the Canadiens waived Beauchemin and he spent three more seasons in the minors before blossoming in his mid-20s.
2011 - New Jersey drafted center Blake Coleman with the 75th overall choice in the 2011 NHL Draft. Upon completing his collegiate career at Miami U. (Ohio), Coleman played a season and a half at the AHL level before ascending to the NHL in 2016-17. He put up a pair of 20-goal seasons for the Devils before they dealt him to the Lightning at the 2020 trade deadline, and he has been a key cog in the Lightning's consecutive Cup championships these last two years. Now 29, Coleman has skated in 301 career NHL contests.
2013 - The New York Rangers grabbed winger Pavel Buchnevich with the 75th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft. Three years later, he was in the Blueshirts' lineup and he has seen top six duty these last few seasons. The 26-year-old Russian is a restricted free agent this summer, and he is coming off his best NHL season; he scored 20 goals and totaled 48 points in 54 games with the Rangers in 2020-21, setting himself up for a pay hike from his $3.25 million figure of the last two seasons.
Pick No. 119
1980 - The New York Rangers chose defenseman Reijo Ruotsalainen with pick No. 119 in 1980, a sixth-round selection in those days. Routsalainen skated in 446 games in seven NHL seasons, totaling 107 goals and 344 points as an offensive-minded blueliner, and he was part of two Stanley Cup championship teams in Edmonton in 1987 and 1990. After winning that second Cup in 1990, Routsalainen played eight more seasons as a pro in Switzerland and his home country of Finland.
1982 - Philadelphia grabbed goaltender Ron Hextall with the 119th overall pick in the 1982 draft. The sixth of 18 goaltenders chosen in '82, Hextall's 608 career NHL games were tops among all netminders in his draft class. When he debuted in the NHL on Oct. 9, 1986, Hextall became the first grandson and son of an NHL player in League history. Although he wasn't the first goaltender in League history to be credited with a goal, he became the first NHL goalie ever to score by shooting the puck the length of the ice and into the opposition net, doing so against Boston on Dec. 8, 1987. He later became the first NHL goalie to score a playoff goal, victimizing the Capitals in 1989. Hextall won both the Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophies as a rookie, and was runner-up for the Calder Trophy as well. After his 13-year playing career concluded, he embarked upon a career as a front office exec. Hextall currently serves as GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
1984 - The New York Rangers chose Swedish defenseman Kjell Samuelsson with pick No. 119 in 1984. Samuelsson went on to play 818 NHL games over the course of a 14-year career with the Rangers, Flyers, Penguins and Lightning. He won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 1992. After his playing days were over, Samuelsson logged several seasons as an assistant and associate coach at the ECHL and AHL levels.
1985 - For the third time in four years, pick No. 119 paid off when Buffalo used the selection to take defenseman Joe Reekie. Drafted by Hartford in the seventh round (124th overall) two years earlier, Reekie didn't sign with the Whalers. He went on to log 902 NHL games with five teams over a 17-year career in the League. Reekie played most of his career in Washington, playing 515 games with the Caps in nearly eight years in the District. After a few seasons as a postgame TV analyst for Comcast, Reekie took a job as a divisional player rep with the NHLPA where he is still employed many years later.
1997 - The Ottawa Senators chose left wing Magnus Arvedson with the 119th pick in the 1997 draft. At the time, Arvedson was 25 years old and was a full-fledged pro in his native Sweden. He spent seven seasons in the NHL as a solid checking line winger, scoring 20 goals once. Arvedson spent six seasons with the Sens before finishing up with Vancouver in 2003-04.
2008 - Ottawa tabbed center Derek Grant from Langley of the BCHL with the 119th overall pick in 2008. After two seasons at Michigan State, Grant turned pro in 2010-11, and he has played more games in the AHL (320) than in the NHL (310) since. But although he has played at the AHL level as recently as 2018-19, he seems to have carved out a spot for himself as a productive fourth-line center. He scored a dozen goals for the Ducks in 2017-18 and established a career high with 15 goals in 2019-20. He spent last season with Anaheim after a brief deadline detour with Philly prior to the pandemic.
Pick No. 151
1993 - With the 151st pick in the 1993 draft, Montreal chose center Darcy Tucker who went on to a 15-year career with four different teams, playing in 947 games and totaling 215 goals and 476 points. Tucker played amateur hockey for WHL Kamloops, playing for three Memorial Cup championship teams there in a span of four seasons.
1994 - After decades of coming up dry here, pick No. 151 clicked for the second time in as many years when Boston chose left win Andre Roy at 151 in the 1994 draft. An enforcer, Roy played 515 NHL games for five different teams over 11 seasons in the League, racking up 1,169 PIM along the way. In 2002, he was assessed a 13-game suspension for leaving the penalty box and physically abusing a linesman. Roy was a member of the 2004 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
2001 - Vancouver selected blueliner Kevin Bieksa with the 151st overall pick in the 2001 draft. After three more seasons at Bowling Green University and three seasons in the AHL, Bieksa arrived on the NHL scene in 2005-06, spending 10 seasons with the Canucks and three more in Anaheim. Bieksa's rugged style resulted in a number of injuries, so his total for 13 seasons in the League was limited to 808 regular season games. He was a key cog on the 2010-11 Vancouver team that came within a game of winning the Stanley Cup.
2012 - Los Angeles opted for defenseman Colin Miller with the 151st overall selection in the 2012 draft. Miller turned pro in 2013-14 but was moved to Boston in the Milan Lucic dealt before he ever sported a Kings sweater. Claimed from the Bruins in the 2017 expansion draft, Miller helped the Golden Knights reach the Cup final in their inaugural season and was dealt to the Sabres two years later. He spent the last two seasons with the Sabres, and has now logged 349 games in the NHL.
Pick No. 183
1974 - With pick No. 183 in the 1974 Draft, Buffalo Sabres GM Punch Imlach pulled one of the most notorious ruses in NHL history. Bored to tears with the length of the proceedings, Imlach enlisted the help of Sabres PR director Paul Wieland to concoct a fictional player for Buffalo to announce as its pick in what was the 11th round of that draft. The pick was announced as Taro Tsujimoto of the fictional Tokyo Katanas of the Japan Ice Hockey League. The Sabres went as far as listing him on the team's training camp roster and setting up a locker room stall for their phantom pick at training camp that fall, but Imlach came clean that fall, admitting the prank. The League has listed the pick as "invalid claim" in the years since.
1982 - At No. 183 in the ninth round of the 1982 Draft, the New York Rangers pulled a rabbit out of the hat when they chose Michigan State winger Kelly Miller. Of the 252 players chosen in '82, only 14 managed to play more NHL games than Miller (1,057). After skating in 117 games in three seasons with the Rangers, Miller was dealt to the Capitals in a multi-player swap on New Year's Day, 1987. The Caps sent disgruntled holdout center Bobby Carpenter to New York in exchange for forwards Mike Ridley, Bob Crawford and Miller. The deal turned out to be one of the best in NHL history as Ridley and Miller became longtime fixtures in Washington while Carpenter's tenure as a Ranger lasted all of 69 days before he was flipped to Los Angeles. When Miller's NHL career concluded after the 1998-99 season, his total of 940 games played was a Capitals' franchise record.
1989 - Buffalo chose winger Donald Audette with pick No. 183 in 1989, and Audette went on to enjoy a productive 735-game NHL career with the Sabres and five other clubs during a 14-year career. Audette had three seasons with 30 or more goals and he reached the 20-goal level in seven of his 14 seasons. Upon finishing up with Florida in 2003-04, Audette totaled 260 goals and 509 points and ranks as the best player ever chosen at No. 183.
1998 - Chicago chose forward Tyler Arnason with pick No. 183, a seventh-rounder in those days. Born in Oklahoma City while his dad Chuck - a former Capital - was playing with the Oklahoma City Stars of the CHL in 1978-79, the younger Arnason played in 487 NHL games which Chicago, Ottawa and Colorado, exceeding his father's own career in the League by 86 games. Tyler Arnason scored 22 goals for the Hawks in 2003-04, a quarter of his career total of 88. The old man scored 109 goals in his own 401-game career in the 1970s.
2002 - Tampa Bay chose defenseman Paul Ranger with the 183rd overall pick in the 2002 draft. Ranger turned pro during the lockout season of 2004-05, and he ascended to the NHL with the Lightning the following season. He put together three solid seasons on the Tampa Bay blueline before severe depression interrupted his progress. He asked for and was granted a leave of absence early in the 2009-10 season, and he ended up staying away from the game for three years, attending classes at U. of Ottawa and coaching youth hockey during that time. He returned to playing in 2012-13, playing the final 53 games of his 323-game NHL career with the Maple Leafs in 2013-14.
2003 - Boston hit on pick No. 183 in 2003 when it chose center Nate Thompson in this slot. Thompson was one of four sixth-rounders who went on to play 400 or more games in the League, and he is the only one of the quartet who was still active in the NHL as recently as this past season. Thompson played only the first four of his 811 career NHL games with Boston; he emerged as a regular bottom six pivot with Tampa Bay in 2010-11, scoring 10 goals in 79 games for the Bolts and helping them advance to the Conference Finals. He played in 44 games with Winnipeg this past season, his ninth different stop in 14 seasons in the NHL.