2011 NHL Entry Draft
2011 NHL Entry Draft Hats
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2011 NHL Entry Draft

Minnesota's Lucia drafted by Wild

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 6:34 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. PAUL -- The roar of those Minnesotans in attendance was almost deafening when Mario Lucia of Wayzata High School not only became the first local boy off the board at the NHL Entry Draft, but also the player of choice of the hometown Minnesota Wild.
"It's an honor … you can't write a better story than this," said Lucia, who was chosen in the second round by the Wild at Xcel Energy Center on the final day of the draft. "Just growing up in Minnesota and being selected by the hometown team, it's incredible. It's not only great for myself, but for my family to be drafted by the organization."
The Wild actually traded up to select Lucia -- sending third (No. 71 overall) and fourth-round (No. 101 overall) choices to the Vancouver Canucks prior to the start of the second round on Saturday. He was selected to a standing ovation with the 60th choice.

Defensemen deals highlight draft trades

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 5:02 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft


Quality defensemen were the hot commodity during Entry Draft weekend.

After Philadelphia altered the NHL landscape with a pair of huge trades Thursday, other teams combined to make 18 trades that involved 14 players with NHL experience. Four of those players were defensemen who figure to have big impact on their new organizations.

The biggest deal of the weekend was San Jose's addition of blueliner Brent Burns from Minnesota. Burns, who scored 17 goals for the Wild last season, came at a big cost -- forward Devin Setoguchi, 2010 first-round choice Charlie Coyle and the 28th selection in the 2011 Entry Draft, who became Zack Phillips.

Howson admits mistake, deals Filatov

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 4:46 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

ST. PAUL -- Saturday was a painful day for Columbus general manager Scott Howson. He had to admit he made a mistake.

During Saturday's third round of the 2011 Entry Draft, Howson owned up to the error of his ways and parted with Nikita Filatov, the No. 6 pick in 2008, by sending him to Ottawa for a third-round choice.

Howson himself made that pick, figuring the offensively explosive Filatov would be the first superstar developed during Howson's regime, which began the previous June.

It never happened. Filatov's three-year run with the Blue Jackets was filled with finger-pointing and acrimony. There were more headaches than goals before Filatov was loaned to Russian team CSKA Moscow in 2009-10. He returned to North America this past season, but split time between the Jackets and their AHL farm team in Springfield.

Sons make fathers proud at Entry Draft

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 4:37 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

In the end, Keegan Lowe decided he'd rather go his own way.

Three sons of former Edmonton Oilers were taken in a span of 60 picks on Saturday during the NHL Entry Draft. Two of the three -- defenseman David Musil and forward Dillon Simpson -- will have a chance to follow in their fathers' footsteps with the blue and orange.

Lowe will not. Carolina took the son of Oilers' president Kevin Lowe in the third round with the 72nd overall pick; Edmonton owned the next pick -- and it's not that father wasn't interested in drafting son.

NHL teams start to think small at draft

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 3:59 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Sometimes, size doesn't really matter.

With NHL hockey becoming more and more of a speed game, scouts seem to be more in search of players who use their skates effectively rather than worrying about how tall they are when wearing them. Such was the case this weekend at the 2011 Entry Draft.

Fourteen out of the 210 players selected (6.7 percent) were listed at under 5-foot-10. That's a far cry from just before the work stoppage, when only four of 291 players were measured under 5-10.

A look at the Entry Draft by the numbers

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 3:00 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The 2011 Entry Draft is history -- and teams will now begin working to help turn the 211 talented youngsters they've selected into actual NHL players.

Here are some of the key numbers from this year's draft:

0 -- Goaltenders selected in the first round, the third time in five years that no goaltenders were taken among the first 30 picks. The first goaltender taken was Magnus Hellberg of Sweden, who went to Nashville at No. 38, one pick ahead of American John Gibson. There were a total of 19 goaltenders drafted -- 11 in the last two rounds.

Preds make Hellberg first goalie picked at draft

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 2:45 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. PAUL -- In the eyes of Nashville Predators European scout Lucas Bergman, goalie Magnus Hellberg had established himself the best at his position.
In fact, the lanky 6-foot-5, 185-pound Swede impressed so much that the Predators couldn't resist making him the first goalie selected at the 2011 Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center. It was a bit of a surprise considering the top two North American prospects were still on the board -- John Gibson of the National Team Development Program and Christopher Gibson of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.
According to Central Scouting, Hellberg wasn't even considered the top European goalie -- that distinction went to Finland's Samu Perhonen (3rd Round, No. 62, Edmonton Oilers).

Flames trade Regehr, Kotalik, out of "cap jail"

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 2:17 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

ST. PAUL – Calgary GM Jay Feaster did not enter this week looking to trade veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr.

The Buffalo Sabres, however, made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. And, after some wooing from both sides, the deal finally got done early Saturday morning, shortly after the conclusion of Friday’s first-round of the draft.

The final deal, which took several days to come together, saw Regehr, veteran forward Ales Kotalik and a second-round pick in 2012 go to Buffalo for defenseman Chris Butler and forward Paul Byron.

"It's not a case where we were looking to unload Robyn," Feaster said during Saturday’s second round of the 2011 Entry Draft. "Robyn has been a tremendous hockey player for our club and has been there for a very long time. It's difficult when you move a guy that is a core player."

Bolts' Yzerman facilitates Red Wing reunion with pick

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 1:56 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

ST. PAUL -- Some teams build scouting backgrounds on players that go back to the beginning of their junior-hockey career.

For Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman, his knowledge base with first-round pick Vladislav Namestnikov goes back nearly 15 years.

Yzerman remembers Namestnikov as a youngster playing in the Detroit Red Wings locker room when Yzerman was teammates with Namestnikov's uncle, Slava Kozlov.

Clarke: Flyers different, but better after big moves

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 12:07 PM / 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. PAUL -- In the eyes of Bob Clarke, the complexion of the Philadelphia Flyers certainly changed this week.

"But from our standpoint, it's for the better," Clarke, the team's senior vice president, told NHL.com on the floor at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. "It'll be a different team -- bigger, faster, younger and stronger."

The Flyers made a major organizational shakeup on Thursday by trading Jeff Carter and captain Mike Richards in separate deals with Columbus and Los Angeles that reverberated throughout the hockey community. In return, they reeled in top prospect Brayden Schenn and promising young players Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds. General Manager Paul Holmgren also acquired the No. 8 pick and a third-round choice (No. 68) in the 2011 Draft via the deal with Columbus for Carter.
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