Few were surprised that the Washington Capitals selected two Russians with their top two picks in the NHL Entry Draft this weekend. The additions of first rounder Evgeny Kuznetsov and third rounder Stanislav Galiev will give the defending Presidents' Trophy winners additional depth on their front lines.
Why do the Caps have so much more of an affinity for drafting Russians than other NHL teams? According to the Washington Post, General Manager George McPhee says it's because they all want to come here to play with Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin.
"That's absolutely why we're doing it. We haven't had an issue with these players coming over to play. When we're picking where we are, and you're getting players that are just as good or better than the ones that are at the top of [each] round, it makes good sense for us to do it."
I guess if you're an 18-year old Russian hockey player, you grow up dreaming of playing for Washington alongside Ovechkin and Semin. If you get drafted by the Capitals, you're definitely going to want to go play for them. If you get drafted by the Florida Panthers, you might be better off staying in Russia.