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Washington Capitals 2024 Draft Target: Berkly Catton – Hockey Writers – Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals could go a few different ways with the 17th pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. They could go the green route and get a defender like Adam Jiricek from Czechia. There are also a few top players that could be of interest. Other names available for the Caps' draft pick include Beckett Sennecke of the Oshawa Generals (in the Ontario Hockey League), Michael Hage of the Chicago Steel (in the United States Hockey. League), Igor Chernyshov of the Moscow Dynamo ( in the Kontinental Hockey League), and Berkly Catton of the Spokane Chiefs (in the Western Hockey League). With so many forwards to cover, the first to get the spotlight treatment is Catton.

A trip to the WHL and a Job in Spokane

Catton was born on Jan. 14, 2006, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Before playing for the Chiefs, he studied at Shattuck-St. Mary's and played for their 16U AAA team. For those who don't know, the Shattuck-St. Mary's is a school where many of their alumni have gone on to successful careers in the NHL. Some famous examples are Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Toews, Zach Parise, and Derek Stepan among others. Being able to grow your game in a program like that is huge, and Catton spent his one season there. In 15 games he played, he collected 11 goals and 12 assists.

Catton has also spent time over the years with various Saskatoon teams. He suited up for the Saskatoon Outlaws U15 AA team in 2018-19, the Saskatoon Bandits U15 AA team in 2019-20, and the Saskatoon Contacts U18 AAA team from 2019-20 to 2021-22. He then played for Spokane in the WHL for nine games in 2021-22.

Related: THW 2024 Mock NHL Draft Round 1: Our Writers Pick Picks

2022-23 is when Catton plays his first full season for the Chiefs. He finished second on the team in scoring with 55 points. Only Chase Bertholet had more with 69. He then followed things up in 2023-24 with a 116-point campaign, which led the team. The total points from three seasons with the Chiefs are shown below:

  • 2021-22: one goal and three assists for four points in nine games
  • 2022-23: 23 goals and 32 assists for 55 points in 63 games
  • 2023-24: 54 goals and 62 assists for 116 points in 68 games

In the three campaigns that Catton played for Spokane, the club was eliminated twice. He did not record a point in four games during the 2022 Playoffs, while he collected four assists in four games during the 2024 postseason.

A discussion of size

When it comes to Catton's decline in his game, his size is what will be talked about. He is listed in his Hockey Writers Draft Profile (written by Logan Horn) as 5-foot-11. I think it is in the best interest of the Capitals or any NHL team for that matter to look past this fact. Size continues to be surpassed by many in the hockey world. There are many examples of how players can overcome being small. Martin St. Louis, listed at 5-foot-8 on his profile, is one of the Tampa Bay Lightning's best players of all time and was one of the key players in helping that franchise win their first Stanley Cup in 2004. . Then there's Brian Gionta, who is listed at 5-foot-7 and had a great career during his time with the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, and Boston Bruins. With the Devils, he put up impressive numbers from 2005-06 to 2008-09, his final season before heading to the Canadiens:

  • 2005-06: 48 goals and 41 assists for 89 points in 82 games
  • 2006-07: 25 goals and 20 assists for 45 points in 62 games
  • 2007-08: 22 goals and 31 assists for 53 points in 82 games
  • 2008-09: 20 goals and 40 assists for 60 points in 81 games

Then, after his time in New Jersey, Gionta was a captain in Montreal and Buffalo. Not only was his ability appreciated, but his leadership was also celebrated. He captained the Canadiens from 2010-11 to 2013-14, and the Sabers from 2014-15 to 2016-17. In both cases with St. Louis and Gionta, they were younger players than Catton is now. They had good jobs and Catton could do the same.

Berkly Catton, shown here with the Spokane Chiefs, should be considered by the Capitals in the first round of the 2024 NHL Draft. (Larry Brunt)

Speaking of the Sabres, size was the latest conversation in the last NHL Entry Draft. Outfielder Zach Benson, who some have drawn comparisons to Catton, continues to slide down the draft board with exceptional size. He was eventually selected by Buffalo with their 13th pick. He was so good during training camp that he made the Sabers as an 18-year-old. Benson, currently listed at 5-foot-10, ended his rookie season with a career-best 71 games, amassing 11 goals and 19 assists for 30 points. His total score will increase as he improves his game even more.

Size is very much talked about. Players can hit their own size. It has happened several times before, and it will continue to happen. The punters shouldn't let Catton's size intimidate them. He can be the most talented player in their team. The post-Alex Ovechkin era will be here before DC fans know it. Catton could be one of those offensive figures for the franchise after it officially ends and the organization enters the next chapter.

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