PHILADELPHIA -- The Toronto Maple Leafs liked the pieces they had on the blue line last season, they just didn't think they fit together in the puzzle. General manager Dave Nonis said he feels the Maple Leafs addressed that issue Saturday during the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center.
"If you look at how our [defense] was put together, we had a lot of the same, particularly down the left side with Gunnar, [Jake] Gardiner, [Morgan] Reilly … so we felt we could use a different look, a right shot, a guy that plays a little harder, more difficult to play against without giving up anything because we still have those other players," Nonis said. "We had an abundance of one thing and we were definitely lacking in the other."
PHILADELPHIA -- Tim Murray didn't get everything he wanted in his first draft as general manager of the Buffalo Sabres. But he left Wells Fargo Center on Saturday feeling pretty good about the nine players the Sabres selected.
"I think the original plan was to get an extra pick in the first round and we weren't able to do it," he said. "Other than that, it went pretty well."
They started Friday by selecting Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart with the second pick and continued with eight picks Saturday.
Those eight players included six forwards, starting with Barrie Colts left wing Brendan Lemieux, the first pick of the second round (No. 31). Lemieux (6-foot, 206 pounds) had 27 goals, 53 points and 145 penalty minutes in 65 regular-season games. The son of four-time Stanley Cup champion Claude Lemieux plays a game reminiscent of his father, which was a big selling point to Murray.
PHILADELPHIA -- Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving was more than willing to begin the run on goaltenders early in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.
The newly appointed GM and his scouting staff proved it with the selection of goalie Mason McDonald of the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League at No. 34.
McDonald (6-foot-4, 178 pounds) was the first goalie taken at the draft and the first of five selected in the second round. There were 21 goalies selected during the final six rounds of the draft. No goalies were selected in the first round Friday night.
"I talked to [Calgary] at the combine and I talked to a guy in Calgary last week," McDonald said. "They were one of the teams that showed a little more interest than others. It was between them and two others that I kind of had in the back of my mind and I’m glad to be selected by them."
PHILADELPHIA -- The Chicago Blackhawks got some necessary salary-cap relief and an extra draft pick by trading forward Brandon Bollig to the Calgary Flames for the No. 83 pick Saturday at the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center.
The Blackhawks used the pick to select right wing Matheson Iacopelli, who had 41 goals last season playing for Muskegon in the United States Hockey League.
By trading Bollig for a draft pick, the Blackhawks save $1.25 million on the $69 million NHL salary cap. The Blackhawks are in the market for a second-line center and have less than $1 million in available salary-cap space, according to Capgeek.com.
"It’s always tough when you trade a player who has been … a regular player for you," Bowman said. "You have to make tough decisions these days. We're not the only team that will go through that. We wish him the best. We helped him a lot in terms of we brought him out of college (St. Lawrence) and developed him and he made himself an NHL player. So we wish him the best. But, yeah, we have to look at doing some things like that to prepare for next year."
PHILADELPHIA – A total of 210 players from 12 countries were selected at the 2014 NHL Draft, which concluded today at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. That includes 67 U.S.-born players, representing the country's highest percentage (32%) of selections.
Following is a breakdown of draft selections by birthplace:
Take a look inside Nationals Park, home of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. WATCH NOW ›