Ross Mahoney

Capitals ink first-round pick Vrana

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The Washington Capitals have their 2014 first-round pick officially locked up.

The team announced they’ve signed 13th overall selection Jakub Vrana to his three-year entry-level contract. Vrana played at Linkoping in the Swedish Hockey League last season and that’s where he’ll likely be playing again next season unless his performance in training camp dictates otherwise.

Vrana, a Czech Republic native, has been a star for their national team at the World Junior Championships and Under-18 World Championships. As Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com shared, the Caps think highly of his abilities.

“He obviously has shown really good speed,” Caps assistant general manager Ross Mahoney said last week. “In a shootout he showed his hands and his slap shot is one that not a lot of people are going to be able to stop.”

If Vrana impresses enough in camp, that’d put the Caps in curious position to possibly go with a lot of youth as they’ll have 2013 first-round pick Andre Burakovsky also pushing to make the club.

Caps promote Ross Mahoney to assistant GM

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The Washington Capitals are keeping their front office business in-house.

The team announced they’ve promoted Ross Mahoney to be the new assistant general manager under new GM Brian MacLellan.

Mahoney has been serving as the team’s director of amateur scouting for the past 16 seasons. MacLellan had been the previous assistant GM under the now deposed George McPhee.

From the team’s press release:

“Ross is an excellent judge of talent and the success he has enjoyed on the amateur scouting level speaks volumes of his expertise,” said MacLellan. “He is a great asset for our hockey operations staff and someone I greatly respect.”

Before his time in Washington, Mahoney was a scout with the Sabres and Canucks. Now he’ll be MacLellan’s right hand man and will look to get owner Ted Leonsis’ team back on track. The Capitals have a bit of work to do this summer to get the team back to the playoffs.

The Capitals are sticking with chemistry with their hirings of late. They signed Mitch Korn, formerly of the Nashville Predators, to be the new goaltending coach and work alongside new head coach Barry Trotz.