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2007 Entry Draft LiveBlog

Friday, 06.22.2007 / 7:03 PM / Features
By Mike Vogel  - WashingtonCaps.com Senior Writer
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2007 Entry Draft LiveBlog
Saturday
2:35 That will do it from the draft for another year. The Caps came with 10 picks, made 10 picks. They also added three picks (two second-rounders) and a fourth-rounder) in a much deeper 2008 draft. The Caps took blueliners with their first three choices, then grabbed six forwards and a netminder after that.

McPhee said the team's goals were : 1) get Alzner, 2) add some picks for next year, 3) go mostly with North Americans in what was a weak draft for European players. Mission accomplished. Now McPhee and the Caps will turn their attention to the business of preparing and extending qualifying offers to their own restricted free agents, continuing to seek trades that could help the team,  and getting ready for the annual unrestricted free agent shopping season that opens a week from tomorrow.

A bit beyond that, the team is already making preparations for its annual summer development camp. That camp will be held at the team's new training facility in Arlington July 9-14. Several of the players chosen here in this weekend's draft are expected to be in attendance.

1:32 Washington picked center Justin Taylor of the OHL's London Knights with their second sixth-rounder, the 180th pick overall. Taylor had six goals and 18 points in 31 games with Dale Hunter's Knights last season. FIve picks later, the Caps used their penultimate pick in this year's draft to choose center Nick Larson of Omaha in the USHL. Larson is slated to attend the U. of Minnesota in 2008.

1:05 The Caps took a big goalie at 154. Dan Dunn played at Wellington of the OPJHL last season. He stands 6-foot-5 and weighs in at 210. Three picks to go.

12:27 The Caps chose forward Brett Leffler at No. 125. Leffler played with Regina of the WHL last season. Washington has now added three defensemen and three forwards to its stable this weekend. The Caps have two sixth-rounders (Nos. 154 and 180) and two seventh-rounders (Nos. 185 and 199) remaining here today.

11:48 George McPhee has pulled off another deal, sending Washington's fourth-round pick (No. 95 overall) to Los Angeles for the Kings' sixth round (No. 154 overall) pick this year and a fourth-rounder next year. McPhee came to Columbus with 10 picks in the 2007 draft, and he still has 10 picks in the 2007 draft. But he has also managed to trade down three times to parlay his hand into an additional three picks in the 2008 draft, generally considered to be a much deeper talent pool than this year's. The Caps now have 10 picks lined up for 2008, including three second-rounders.

11:39 Washington chose Phil Desimone, a center from Sioux City of the USHL, with its third round choice, the 84th overall. Desimone, a native of East Amherst, NY, is not here in Columbus this weekend. He finished second in the league in scoring with 26 goals and 73 points and was named the USHL Player of the Year for his efforts.

Desimone's teammate Max Pacioretty was the first USHL player chosen in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Pacioretty went to Montreal with the Habs' first round choice (23rd overall) in this year's draft. Desimone was the eighth USHL player chosen. He is headed to the University of New Hampshire this fall, where he will be a teammate of James vanRiemsdyk, the second player chosen in last night's first round.

11:05 It took a while, but a goalie finally went in the second round. Sweden's Joel Gistedt went to Phoenix at No. 36, and three more netminders followed in a span of seven picks in the middle of the second round. The last time no netminders were chosen in the first round was in 1992. Washington grabbed Jim Carey as the first goalie taken in that draft, picking hims 32nd overall. Manny Fernandez (third round) and Nikolai Khabibulin (ninth round) were the goalies of consequence who came out of that draft.

10:55 Ted Ruth is a kid who lives near Chicago now, but who moved around a lot when he was a kid. He played for the USNTDP last season, but will be playing at Notre Dame this fall. Ruth is a serious kid who calls everybody "sir" and who characterizes himself as a stay-at-home defenseman with some grit.

Josh Godfrey was Washington's first pick in the second round. He was chosen with the 34th overall choice after having been passed over altogether last year. Godfrey is already 19 years old and will be 20 in January. He was invited to Washington's summer developmental camp in Hershey last summer, but he was unable to take the ice because he had just had his knee scoped.

In between Godfrey and Ruth, the Capitals traded the No. 41 overall choice, a pick they acquired from San Jose last night. Washington sent the No. 41 to Philadelphia for the No. 84 pick this year and the Flyers' second-round pick in 2008. Washington now has three second-rounders in its portfolio for next summer's draft.

Two years ago, Washington became only the second team to choose defensemen with its first four choices in the draft. The Caps have taken three defensemen at the top of this draft, and their next pick is at No. 84, in the middle of the third round.

10:41 Busy morning, and we've had a hard time getting online here. Caps made two picks and traded one. We're going to go talk to Ted Ruth now, Washington's pick with the 46th overall pick. More on him and Josh Godfrey in a bit.

10:07 So as it sets up now, Washington will have three of the first 16 picks tomorrow morning in the second round: Nos. 34, 41 and 46. Two more picks will close out the first round, and then the scouting and personnel staffs of the 30 teams will convene for late night meetings to discuss their respective Day 2 strategies. Having those three picks may give the Caps some options on Saturday.

Anyway, a good haul for the Caps as they add a strong defenseman to the stable and get a second rounder in 2008 without giving up a pick to do so.

Ottawa has just taken Jimmy O'Brien at 29, the 10th American chosen in the first round. One more would set a new record. It's up to the Phoenix Coyotes.

10:02 Deal. The Caps traded No. 28 to San Jose for the 41st pick in the 2007 draft, and San Jose's second-rounder in what is expected to be a much deeper draft in 2008.

9:50 Here come the Blues with their third pick of the round. And the Caps are three picks away. Pacioretty, Backlund and White were all guys I wouldn't have minded seeing the Caps get.

And the Blues take David Perron. Detroit is next, and the Wings were talking about moving down. We'll see what's up.

9:35 And there goes another defenseman, as Jonathan Blum goes to Nashville at 23. Poile has a history of taking defensemen in the first round with the Preds. Blum is a California kid, so it’s great to see him go in the first round.

9:29 Nine more picks to go before we break for the night. Seven defensemen have already been chosen, and guys like Nick Petrecki, Kevin Marshall and a few others could still go in the first here.

And damn, there goes Max Pacioretty to the Habs. He is a guy I was hoping might be around at 28 when the Caps pick next. But I figured he wouldn't be. I actually thought he'd go before now.

9:14 As I was just discussing with Empty Maybe, you can set your watch by the San Jose Sharks moving up in the first round of the draft. That already happened earlier. You can also set your watch by the Atlanta Thrashers making a draft day deal. Thrashers GM Don Waddell has made a draft day deal every year since 1999, including swaps that brought Slava Kozlov and Niclas Havelid to Atlanta. He just kept his streak going by moving the 76th pick to Pittsburgh in exchange for forward Chris Thorburn.

The Pens are on the clock, too.

9:09 Blues took Ian Cole, the second USNTDP defenseman to go in the first round. Colorado took Kevin Shattenkirk at 14.

9:08 Forgot to mention, GMGM did say that the phones were still ringing. So stay tuned.

9:02 Cherepanov's nightmare is over. He goes to New York, where, as my cohort Andy Mattice sagely notes, "They have experience dealing with his type." We just talked to GMGM and he revealed that he did not come close to dealing the No. 5. He also noted that had LA taken Alzner, Washington would have gone with Gagner.

Another trade here. Calgary deals the 18 to St. Louis for 24 and 70, which is a third. So the Blues now head to the podium for the second time in the round. Does this mean Esposito's nightmare is over, too?

8:43 I wrote a bundle of stuff after talking to Alzner, but lost it all because of the dicey wireless here. Anyway, I’ll try to recap. Alzner gave us a 12-minute interview, then kept talking to some other guys. I’ve never seen a kid talk more than five minutes or so in all my years of covering these things. He played with Caps defenseman Jeff Schultz at Calgary of the WHL and the two are offseason workout buddies, too. Alzner is going to call Schultz, who is back in Washington at the unveiling.

No real surprises after the Alzner pick. I thought Esposito would go to Montreal at No. 12, but I wouldn’t have passed up Ryan McDonagh to take him.

And you should know this. Despite published reports to the contrary, the Caps never had interest in using the No. 5 pick to take Alexei Cherepanov.

7:50 For the second year in a row, the Caps got the guy they wanted. Had LA taken Alzner, McPhee almost certainly would have moved the fifth pick elsewhere. Going to go have a chat with the newst Cap now. He's a great guy, he really interviewed well at the combine. The fans in Washington are going to love this kid.

7:48 It will be Alzner.

7:44 GMGM could swap the 5 to Edmonton, so that the Oilers can get their guy. Then the Caps can get theirs at 6. It's possible, we'll see. Edmonton might believe that Washington wants Gagner here.

7:42. Kings took Thomas Hickey, making it more likely that Washington will exercise its pick at No. 5. Edmonton can now breathe easier, too. Gagner will be available at No. 6. Unless GM deals the No. 5 to a team that wants Gagner.

7:35 Turris to the Coyotes. Again, no surprise. It's what happens with the Kings here that may determine Washington's course with the fifth pick. If the Kings take the Caps' guy, look for GMGM to trade down.

7:27 The Flyers take vanRiemsdyk. No surprise there. If Philly was going to make the pick, it was going to be him. Now Phoenix will take Kyle Turris, and then the fun will begin. What the Kings do with No. 4 may impact Washington. If Los Angeles takes the Caps' guy, it will make Washington more likely to trade down.

7:22 Here's where it could get interesting. Philly is thought to be fielding offers for the No. 2. If the Flyers don't deal, they're almost certain to take vanRiemsdyk or Turris. Kane is on stage now, getting his photo snapped in the beautiful red Blackhawks sweater. Philly is on the clock. Carolina, Edmonton, Dallas and a few other teams were rumored to have interest in moving up, but don't know if any of them were looking to move up this far. Edmonton really likes Sam Gagner, but they won't have to move to No. 2 to get him ... they may be able to hold steady at No. 6 and get him.

7:20 The big news of the moment is that the Preds sale to Jim Balsillie is off. Hawks are on the clock with the first pick. A few weeks ago, sounded like they'd deal it. Lately, Dale Tallon seems inclined to make the pick. He has said he'll go with Patrick Kane, James vanRiemsdyk or Kyle Turris. The bet here is Kane.

7:13. So it's 7:13 and still no sign of Gary Bettman. Not sure if we're going to start this thing soon or not. Dead air, as they say in the radio vernacular. Ironincally, the arena sound system is blasting Elvis Presley's "Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action."

Hurry up and wait, I guess. Was this thing supposed to start at 7 or 9?

The Bluejackets are unveiling their new jerseys as I type. Nice look, big improvement. The letter "C:" wrapped around a star and with the Ohio state flag incorporated.

Hey everyone, we're online now, but we don't know how long our connection will hold out. We've had all kinds of trouble getting on and staying on, but we're hoping for the best. Stay with us, it should be fun ... technology willing.
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