9:40 PM: The Caps chose right-handed center Brian Pinho, a product of St. John’s Prep in Massachusetts, with their sixth-round (174th overall) choice. Pinho is likely headed to the USHL in 2013-14 and is expected to start his NCAA career at Providence College in the fall of 2014.
As the 10 p.m. hour approaches, we’re into the seventh round. Washington has one more choice, the 204th of 211 to be taken overall.
9:00 PM: The Caps finally made their fourth choice of the 2013, taking left-handed defenseman Blake Heinrich with their fifth-round (144th overall) choice. Heinrich played for Sioux City in the USHL last season. He stands 5-11 and tips the scales at 194.
According to ISS, Heinrich is a good puck moving defenseman who has made a verbal commitment to U. of Minnesota-Duluth for the 2013-14 season. He had three goals and 20 points to go along with 110 penalty minutes in 42 games for Sioux City in 2012-13.
8:01 PM: Kelowna (WHL) defenseman Madison Bowey was Washington’s second choice, No. 53 overall. Bowey is a good two-way defender who likens his game to that of Winnipeg’s Zach Bogosian. The ISS likens him to Kevin Bieksa. Bowey was ranked anywhere from 22 to 34 by seven different scouting services/media outlets, so getting him at No. 53 is a good value from that standpoint.
Shortly after picking Bowey, the Caps swapped their next three choices – pick Nos. 84, 114 and 127 – to Winnipeg for the Jets’ No. 61 choice, the final pick in the second round. The Caps used that choice to take strapping center Zach Sanford, who played for Middlesex of the EJHL last season. Sanford will skate for Waterloo in the USHL in 2013-14 and then will attend Boston College in the fall of 2014. Sanford gets around the ice well for his size and says he needs to work on the defensive side of the game.
The third round is over now, and we’re heading into the fourth. Washington’s next pick is at No. 144, late in the fifth round. The Caps also own choices in the sixth (No. 174) and seventh (No. 204) rounds.
6:43 PM: Less than a week after his goal in the last minute of Game 6 lifted the Blackhawks to their second Stanley Cup title in four springs, Dave Bolland is a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bolland, who was Chicago’s second-round choice (32nd overall) in 2004, went to the Leafs in exchange for three draft choices.
Big eruption here as the Devils land U.S. development team defenseman Steve Santini at No. 42. He’s a rugged, physical blueliner and the fans here seem happy to have him headed to the Garden State. That’s the Devils’ first pick of the day.
6:35 PM: Montreal breaks the seal on the goaltenders, taking Zachary Fucale at No. 36. Los Angeles grabs left wing Valentin Zykov at No. 37, a player many expected to go in the latter third of the first round. Buffalo chose Minnesota high school center Connor Hurley at No. 38, and Phoenix trades a pair of later picks to the Devils for the 39th overall choice. With that pick, the Coyotes landed center Laurent Dauphin.
Dallas chose London left wing Remi Elie at No. 40, the fourth Knight to be chosen so far. Elie was ranked between 66 (TSN) and 120 (Red Line Report).
6:25 PM: We’re into the second round now. Ian McCoshen to Florida with pick No. 31, a USHL defenseman from Waterloo. Another defenseman, Chris Bigras, goes to Colorado at No. 32. The Bolts took left wing Adam Erne – ranked in the top 15 by some – at No. 33. Swedish center Jacob de la Rose went to Montreal (pick obtained from Nashville) at No. 34.
And then, a deal at No. 35. Carolina dealt their second-rounder (no. 35) to the Sabres and defenseman Jamie McBain to Buffalo for defenseman Andrej Sekera. The Canes were in the market for a top four defenseman, and they’re not easy to come by in the trade market. Looks like they’ve got their man. With the No. 35 pick, the Sabres took U.S. Development Team center J.T. Compher. He’s headed to U. of Michigan next season.
6:05 PM: Back upstairs after chatting briefly with Caps first-round pick Andre Burakowsky. He’s the son of Robert Burakovsky, longtime Euro league player who had a cup of coffee (23 games) with the expansion Ottawa Senators. The younger Burakovsky is a skilled left wing who is an effective puck possession player, though he told me he needs to work on protecting it more.
Burakovsky played for Malmo in the Swedish-2 league last year, and it’s unclear at this point whether he intends to remain in Sweden or to come to this side of the Atlantic and play junior hockey in North America. Burakovsky was born in Austria while his father was playing there. The son reports that the elder Burakovsky became emotional upon hearing his son’s name called at No. 23 by Washington.
As to the picks after the Caps and while I was downstairs, let’s see. Hunter Shinkaruk finally went to Vancouver at No. 24, so the Canucks pulled a pair of promising forwards out of the first round. Montreal went for U.S. development team forward Michael McCarron at No. 25, defenseman Shea Theodore went to Anaheim at No. 26, center Marko Dano to Columbus at No. 27 and Calgary used its third first-rounder on left wing Morgan Klimchuk at No. 28. Dallas took Guelph center Jason Dickinson at No. 29 and the Blackhawks finished out the first by taking feisty Plymouth pivot Ryan Hartman at No. 30. I like that Hawks pick a lot.
There’s a five-minute respite between rounds one and two. Three hours were needed to conduct the first round, but as always, the picks will start to fly fast and furiously from here on out. Updates will be fewer and further between from here, but there will be more to come as it develops.
5:19 PM: So, the Flames have taken center Emile Poirier, who likely climbed the charts more than any other player in the second half of last season. Washington on the clock now. We’ll see whether they pick or take an extra pick to move down.
5:11 PM: Toronto has chosen center Frederik Gauthier from Rimouski of the Quebec League. The top four defenseman and top six forwards are falling fast. If the Caps don’t see someone they like a lot and believe can become a top four blueliner or a top six forward, I believe they’ll shop the No. 23 pick. We’re minutes away from finding out. Calgary is up at No. 22, the second of three Flames first-rounders in 2013.
5:04 PM: Columbus chose left wing Kerby Rychel with the No. 19 choice. Rychel is the second NHL bloodlines pick of the first round; his dad Warren was a longtime and effective NHL tough guy. A few mock drafts had the Caps taking Rychel at 23. The Jackets took Rychel with the pick they obtained from the Rangers in the Rick Nash deal. Detroit has taken 50-goal scorer Anthony Mantha at No. 20. Mantha is a 6-foot-4 left winger from the Quebec League. He is the only first-year draft eligible player who scored 50 goals in 2012-13.
5:00 PM: The Sharks were worried enough or were determined enough to deal a second-rounder to move up two spots in the first round. San Jose landed defenseman Mirco Mueller with that pick. Columbus on the clock at No. 19, its second pick in the first round. Then Detroit at 20, Toronto at 21 and Calgary at No. 22 before the Caps make their first choice – assuming they don’t move down – at No. 23.
4:53 PM: Ottawa tabs center Curtis Lazar at No. 17. He plays with Edmonton of the WHL. The Red Wings have traded the No. 18 pick to San Jose for pick Nos. 20 and 58. So the Wings add a late second-rounder to drop back two spots. I could see the Caps doing something similar.
4:46 PM: Mentioned earlier about Buffalo having moved a pair of veteran defenseman at the April trade deadline, and now the Sabres are restocked there. Buffalo chose London Knights defenseman Nikita Zadorov at No. 16, the third member of Dale Hunter’s club to be chosen in the top 16.
Buffalo is in the midst of a rebuild that could see goaltender Ryan Miller and scoring winger Thomas Vanek shuffling off from Buffalo soon.
4:41 PM: With the Islanders’ choice of Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Ryan Pulock at No. 15 overall, we are now halfway through the first round. Still not quite 5 p.m., so we’re moving along nicely as well. Buffalo is on the clock with its second pick at No. 16, and Ottawa and Detroit are waiting in the wings.
4:34 PM: Columbus exercises the first of its three first-rounders on center Alexander Wennberg. Virtually every scouting service had Wennberg right in the 12-16 ballpark, and here he goes at No. 14 to Columbus. That’s the last of the picks from teams that missed the playoffs in 2012-13. Now to the playoff teams, starting with the New York Islanders at No. 15. There has been some talk of them going for Quebec League sniper Anthony Mantha here.
4:29 PM: The Jets go for defenseman Josh Morrissey from Prince Albert of the Western League. There were a few mock drafts that had the Caps taking him at No. 23. That means we’re getting to the point of the draft where opinions start to diverge a bit.
4:22 PM: The Coyotes chose Max Domi at No. 12. Domi is the sound for former NHL tough guy Tie Domi and the second member of Dale Hunter’s London Knights to go in the first round.
Commissioner Gary Bettman just announced that the Clutterbuck deal also includes the No. 70 overall pick this year going to Minnesota from the Isles.
4:16 PM: Philly ultimately opted for the other behemoth blueliner, Samuel Morin from Rimouski of the Quebec League. He’s 6-foot-6 and tips the scales at 200. He’s got some filling out to do. Phoenix, Winnipeg next.
4:09 PM: Dallas general manager Jim Nill chose Russian forward Valery Nichuskin with his first choice as the team’s GM, the No. 10 pick overall. Nichuskin was ranked among the top five by most scouts in terms of pure skill and ability, but signability and other concerns dropped him to tenth overall. Philadelphia is up next at No. 11 and Phoenix and Winnipeg follow. You have to think Zadorov might be a fit in Philly. He’s a big blueliner, and that’s how they like them there.
4:04 PM: The Canucks take center Bo Horvat from Dale Hunter’s London Knights. Max Domi and Nikita Zadorov are the two other Knights also expected to go in the first round. The Dallas Stars are on the board at No. 10 now, making the first of their two picks in the first round. Stars also own No. 29 choice as a result of the Jaromir Jagr deal.
3:58 PM: Devils GM Lou Lamoriello just made a big splash and made the local fans very happy when he dealt the No. 9 pick to Vancouver for goaltender Cory Schneider. Now, New Jersey has Martin Brodeur’s successor and the Canucks are on the clock at No. 9. That’s a big deal here in Jersey, and in the landscape of the Capitals’ newly woven division, of which New Jersey is also a member.
3:51 PM: Buffalo is up with the first of two first-rounders; the Sabres will also pick at No. 16. Buffalo adds a promising defenseman in Rasmus Ristolainen. The Sabres moved two veteran defensemen – Jordan Leopold and Robyn Regehr – at the trade deadline, so this is a good step toward replenishing the blueline cupboard.
New Jersey is up next at No. 9. In using their pick this year, the Devils have opted to forfeit their first-rounder in 2014. That’s the punishment for their attempts to circumvent the salary cap with the signing of Ilya Kovalchuk a couple of summers back.
3:44: Heads up. The Islanders have obtained rambunctious forward Cal Clutterbuck from Minnesota in exchange for former 1st rounder Nino Niederreiter. The Caps can look forward to seeing a lot of Clutterbuck in the upcoming seasons, now that they dwell in the same division.
As I typed that, the Oilers went right on script and took Darnell Nurse, nephew of former Skins quarterback Donovan McNabb.
3:40 PM: No surprise there, Monahan to Calgary. One of many teams that need help up the middle, and they get it in Monahan. Edmonton is up next. Would they go for Darnell Nurse or Nikita Zadarov? The Oil is loaded up front, but could use some more talent in the back.
3:33 PM: Indeed, the Preds took Jones. And apparently Rutherford wasn’t wowed by any of the offers he got, so the Canes went ahead and chose Swedish forward Elias Lindholm at No. 5. Now Calgary with the first of its three first rounders, but the Flames are also thought to be a team that could move. If they opt to use the pick, Sean Monahan is a good bet to go to the Flames.
3:22 PM: Jonathan Drouin of Halifax goes to Tampa Bay at No. 3. That leaves defenseman Seth Jones still on the board, and Nashville GM David Poile has been on record as saying he’d take Jones No. 1 overall if he had that pick. Poile and the Preds do have pick No. 4, so I guess we know who goes there.
Now, the question is, what will Carolina do with the No. 5 choice? Lots of teams wanting to climb up. Canes GM Jim Rutherford has fielded plenty of calls for the pick. We’re betting he moves it.
3:16 PM: Florida goes with Alexander Barkov at No. 2. He’s said to be perhaps the most NHL-ready player in this year’s draft, and the Cats can certainly use the injection of talent. He’ll join Calder winner Jonathan Huberdeau in Florida.
3:09 PM: Joe Sakic takes the stage along with new Avs head coach Patrick Roy and Devils fans take advantage of the opportunity to chant, “Marty’s better!” And the Avs go according to script, taking Nathan MacKinnon from Halifax. Roy is very familiar with him, having coached in the QMJHL for years.
Florida is on the clock next, with either Seth Jones or Jonathan Drouin as the likely pick.
3:03 PM: We’ve got the first deal of the day, as Pittsburgh sends energy forward Tyler Kennedy to the San Jose Sharks for a second rounder in 2013. Kennedy is a restricted free agent, and the Pens have their hands full trying to re-sign Kris Letang and Pascal Dupuis.
2:52 PM: The league has just conducted its roll call. Every one of the NHL teams showed up for the draft. No one overslept and no one missed the bus. All present and accounted for, and the draft itself will be underway in about 10 minutes.
With all seven rounds being conducted today, it looks as though there may be a three-minute limit on picks in the first round. It’s usually five minutes, but the clock on the stage is set at three.
The Colorado Avalanche is on the clock at No. 1 followed by Florida, Tampa Bay and Nashville in slots 2-4. Carolina is next at No. 5, but plenty of rumors are swirling around the Canes, who appear more than likely to move that pick as of now.
Stay tuned, much more to come.