1:32 PM – We’re all wrapped up here in Philadelphia. The Caps came to town with nine picks, made three trades, ended up making six picks and also obtaining a goaltending prospect (Edward Pasquale) from the Jets. For the first time since 2003, the Caps did not choose a defenseman in the draft. They ended up taking a goaltender, a center and four wingers.
Walker will be able to plug right into their pro system immediately in 2014-15, and the rest will continue along on their development path.
Of the six players the Caps chose this weekend, only two (Jakub Vrana and Shane Gersich) were present here in Philadelphia. We’ll have footage of Gersich’s interviews earlier today up shortly on the Monumental Network.
Caps coach Barry Trotz spoke to the media several minutes ago, and that video will also appear shortly on the Network. Thanks for hanging out, and you’ll hear much more from us in the days ahead. We expect to have assistant GM/director of amateur scouting Ross Mahoney on an upcoming edition of Caps Report, as we’ve done in years past. We’ll also be covering this year’s unrestricted free agent shopping season, which opens on Tuesday, and Caps development camp beginning on July 7.
1:11 PM – Okay, so since the Walker pick, the Caps chose center Shane Gersich – nephew of the three Broten brothers who all played in the NHL – with their fifth-round pick. Then they dealt picks 164 and 192 this year and their seventh-rounder in the 2015 Draft to Winnipeg for pick No. 159 and AHL goaltender Edward Pasquale. Pasquale was a fourth-round draft choice (117th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Gersich played for the U.S. National Development Team Program last season, and will play for USHL Omaha in 2014-15 before moving on to University of North Dakota in 2015-16.
With that No. 159 overall pick obtained from the Jets, the Caps chose right wing Steven Spinner out of Eden Prairie (Minn.) H.S. Spinner played a handful of games for Omaha in the USHL last season.
12:02 PM – We’re through the fourth round now. Just under two hours to cruise through the first three rounds of the second day. Three more to go. Caps have four picks remaining, the next of which comes around at No. 134, just before the midpoint of the fifth round.
11:30 AM – The Caps chose Australian left wing Nathan Walker at No. 89. Washington knows Walker well; he has attended both development and regular training camps at Kettler and acquitted himself quite well last fall in preseason action against other NHL clubs. Playing for AHL Hershey last season, Walker totaled five goals and 11 points in 43 games. The Caps were well aware that he had attracted attention from other pro scouts while playing in Hershey and figured they’d need to grab him by the end of the third round if they wanted to ensure having him in the organization.
Walker has great speed and a strong work ethic and best of all, the Caps don’t need to wait for him as they would if they had taken an 18-year-old kid from junior hockey with this pick. He already has a season of pro hockey under his belt and is quite familiar with the Caps’ organization.
11:22 AM – Washington has swapped its two fourth-round choices (104 and 118) to the New York Rangers for the penultimate pick in the third round. This third round is dragging hard; it feels like at least half the picks in this round have been moved during the proceedings. And the Flames have just dealt No. 83 to the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Brandon Bollig as I type this.
We’re a few picks away from the Caps’ choice with that third-rounder obtained from the Rangers. After that, the Caps have a fifth-rounder (134), a sixth-rounder (174) and a pair of seventh-rounders (192 and 194).
11:05 AM – The pace has slowed here in the third round, largely due to a a number of trades, all of them made by teams looking to move up in order to land a guy they really want.
We’ve seen one more goaltender and five more defensemen go off the board in the first dozen picks of the third round. Detroit chose Dominic Turgeon, son of longtime NHL pivot Pierre Turgeon, with pick No. 63 early in the third round.
The U.S. National Development Team Program turned out three picks in last night’s first round, three more in the second round and then another in the third here with defenseman Jack Glover going to Winnipeg at No. 69.
10:40 AM – The Arizona Coyotes chose Ryan MacInnis, son of Hockey Hall of Famer Al MacInnis at No. 43. The younger MacInnis is one of many sons of former NHLers who figure to be selected in the 2014 Draft.
Los Angeles got defensemen Roland McKeown at No. 50, a decent value pick on a guy many believed would be chosen in the latter stages of the first round.
There are still several picks to be made here in the second round, but we’ve already seen more defensemen (six) chosen in this round than were taken in the first (five).
There goes another son of a former NHLer, Ryan Donato to Boston at No. 56. He's the son of former Bruins forward Ted Donato.
10:28 AM – And yes, the Caps did make a move to slide up five spots for their second choice in the 2014 NHL Draft. Washington shipped its second-round choice (No. 44) and its third-rounder (No. 74) to the Buffalo Sabres for the 39th overall choice. With that selection, the Caps tabbed goaltender Vitek Vanecek from the Czech Republic. Vanacek was the fourth goaltender taken in a span of six picks.
This is seen as a generally good year for goaltenders, and Vanecek becomes the highest goaltender taken by the Caps since they selected Michal Neuvirth in the second round (34th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Vanecek is listed at 6-foot-0 and 180 pounds. He was excellent in the U18 World Championships, helping the Czech Republic to a silver medal. Vanecek is seen as a goaltender who has the ability and potential to become a No. 1 netminder in the NHL.
10:18 AM – We’re underway here in Philly for Day Two of the 2014 NHL Draft. The Buffalo Sabres kicked things off today by taking irascible winger Brendan Lemieux, son of former irascible winger Claude Lemieux.
Florida went with center Jayce Hawryluk at No. 32 and the Blues grabbed forward Ivan Barbashev at No. 33. Barbashev was projected to go in the first round by many pundits and some scouts as well.
Calgary chose the first goalie to go in the draft this year when it chose Mason McDonald, and that set off a bit of a run on netminders. Tampa Bay took defenseman Dominik Masin at No. 35, but then each of the next two clubs went with goaltenders. Vancouver took Thatcher Demko and Carolina snagged Alex Nedeljkovic.
Anaheim chose big blueliner Marcus Petterson at No. 38. The Caps’ next choice is at No. 44, and there are still some players on the board they like, perhaps even enough to try to move up to select.