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Searching for Gems

by Mike Vogel / Washington Capitals
The Capitals have 10 selections in the seven rounds of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Of course, some of those choices may be traded between now and the weekend, and others may be acquired. Yesterday, we provided a history of the fifth overall choice in the draft dating back to 1969. Today, we're looking at the history of Washington's other nine picks in the draft.

With the higher picks, we mainly only looked at those players who had NHL careers of decent length. With the longshot choices (those taken 95th and later) we went a little wider in scope, and cast a more inclusive net.

There are no sure things in the NHL draft, even with a top five pick. But over the years, NHL teams have found good value in the same spots in which Washington will be choosing this weekend. Here's a look.

No. 28 overall
Glen Hanlon
1972 – The California Golden Seals chose Stan Weir at No. 28 and he went on to play in 642 NHL contests with five different clubs. He was a teammate of Caps coach Glen Hanlon and former Caps goalie Michel Belhumeur on the 1977-78 Tulsa Oilers of the old Central Hockey League.

1974 – Atlanta chose forward Guy Chouinard, who scored 205 goals and totaled 575 points in his 578-game NHL career. When he left Calgary in 1983, he was the Atlanta-Calgary franchise’s all-time leader in assists and points.

1976 – Atlanta chose left wing Bobby Simpson, who totaled 35 goals and 64 points in 175 NHL games.

1979 – The Blackhawks chose forward Tim Trimper, who put up 30 goals and 66 points in 190 NHL contests.

1980 – The Blackhawks picked forward Steve Ludzik, who picked up 46 goals and 139 points in 424 NHL games. Ludzik later served as head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning for two seasons from 1999-01.

1981 – The Penguins drafted Steve Gatzos, who scored a goal on his first shot and first shift in the NHL, but totaled only 15 goals and 35 points in 89 NHL games, all with Pittsburgh. Gatzos’ minor league years included a stop in Baltimore.

1983 – The Maple Leafs took left Wing Jeff Jackson, who totaled 38 goals and 86 points in a 263-game NHL career.

1984 – Detroit chose defenseman Doug Houda, whose 528-game NHL career included 19 goals, 82 points and 1,104 PIM. Houda is now an assistant coach with the Boston Bruins.

1985 – The Rangers selected goaltender Mike Richter. He played in 666 NHL games, posting a 301-258-73 record and leading the Blueshirts to their first Stanley Cup title in 54 years in 1994.

1987 – Toronto took right wing Daniel Marois, who totaled 117 goals and 210 points in 350 NHL games. Marois scored 30-plus goals in each of his first two NHL seasons.

1989 – Minnesota chose right wing Mike Craig, who totaled 71 goals and 168 points over the course of his 423-game NHL career.

1991 – Montreal took right wing Jim Campbell, who played in 285 NHL games and totaled 61 goals and 136 points.

1993 – San Jose selected right wing Shean Donovan. Donovan has 100 goals and 214 points in his ongoing 774-game NHL career.

1994 – Anaheim went with Johan Davidsson, who scored six goals and totaled 15 points in his 83 NHL games.

1995 – The Islanders picked winger Jan Hlavac, who has 78 goals and 189 points in his 356 NHL games. After spending the last three seasons playing in Europe, Hlavac recently signed to play with Tampa Bay in 2007-08.

2000 – Philadelphia picked right wing Justin Williams, now with Carolina. Williams has 12 goals and 276 points in his 422 NHL games to date. He has racked up consecutive 30-goal seasons and he won a Stanley Cup ring with the Canes in 2006.

2002 – Colorado chose winger Jonas Johansson and later swapped him to the Caps in the Steve Konowalchuk deal. Johansson played just one NHL game – the final game of the 2005-06 season – and has returned to Europe where he will play in 2007-08.

2003 – Anaheim landed right wing Corey Perry, who has totaled 30 goals and 69 points in his 138 NHL games to date. Perry contributed six goals and 15 points in 21 playoff games in helping Anaheim to a Stanley Cup title in 2007.

No. 34 overall
1971 – The Kings drafted center Vic Venasky at No. 34. He played in 430 NHL games over seven seasons, all with Los Angeles.

1972 – The Atlanta Flames chose defenseman Jean Lemieux here. He played in 204 NHL games with Atlanta and Washington. Lemieux scored on his first shot on goal in a Caps uniform on Jan. 23, 1976 after coming to Washington in the trade that sent Capitals captain Bill Clement to Atlanta.

1974 – Chicago took forward Alain Daigle, who totaled 56 goals and 106 points in 389 NHL tilts.

1977 – Boston took goaltender Dave Parro, who played 77 games in the NHL, all with Washington.

1979 – The Rangers chose forward Ed “Boxcar” Hospodar, whose 450-game NHL career produced 17 goals, 68 points and 1,314 PIM. Hospodar was involved in the infamous warm-up brawl that preceded Game 6 of the 1987 Wales Conference final series game between Montreal and Philadelphia. Then a member of the Flyers, Hospodar chased down Montreal’s Claude Lemieux during warm-ups when the latter shot a puck into the Flyers’ net. Hospodar wound up getting suspended for the duration of the playoffs.

1982 – Quebec nabbed Paul Gillis, whose NHL career lasted 624 games and included 88 goals, 242 points and 1,498 PIM. The younger brother of former NHLer Mike Gillis, Paul was once suspended for three games by the league for scratching the face of ex-Cap and current Caps assistant coach Dean Evason during a fight. Evason was with the Whalers at the time.

1984 – Washington tabbed winger Steve Leach, whose brother Jay is now an assistant coach with the Capitals. Steve Leach played in 703 NHL games and accumulated 130 goals and 283 points.

1985 – The Islanders chose left wing Brad Lauer, who totaled 44 goals and 111 points in 323 NHL tilts.

1987 – The Isles picked goaltender Jeff Hackett, who played in exactly 500 NHL games. Hackett forged a 166-244-56 record with six teams over the course of his 15-year NHL career.

1989 – Philadelphia picked left wing Patrik Juhlin, who played in 56 NHL games and amassed seven goals and 13 points.

1990 – The Rangers selected center Doug Weight whose ongoing NHL career includes 255 goals, 944 points and a Stanley Cup title in 2006. Weight has played in 1,064 NHL games and counting.

1995 – Winnipeg took defenseman Jason Doig, who totaled six goals and 24 points in his 156-game NHL career. Doig finished his NHL days in Washington during the 2003-04 season.

1998 – Buffalo chose left wing Andrew Peters, who has three goals, four points and 376 PIM in his 128 NHL games to date.

1999 – The Capitals drafted defenseman Ross Lupaschuk, who has played in three NHL games. Lupaschuk was included in the Jul. 11, 2001 trade that brought Jagr from Pittsburgh to Washington.

VANCOUVER, CAN - JUNE 24: Michal Neuvirth poses for a portrait backstage at the 2006 NHL Draft held at General Motors Place on June 24, 2006 in Vancouver, Canada. (Dave Sandford/Getty Images for NHL)
2006 – Washington drafted goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who went 26-8-4 as an OHL rookie and helped lead the Plymouth Whalers to the Memorial Cup finals.

No. 46 overall
1972 – The Canadiens chose center Eddie Gilbert, who played in 166 NHL games with Kansas City and Pittsburgh and 29 WHA contests with Cincinnati. Gilbert scored 20 goals for the Hershey Bears in 1976-77.

1978 – Chicago chose forward Rick Paterson, who totaled 50 goals and 93 points over the course of a 430-game NHL career. 

1980 – Detroit snagged left wing Mark Osborne, whose 919-game NHL career produced 212 goals and 932 points. Osborne was a linemate of Caps GM George McPhee while both were with the Rangers in the mid-1980s.

1982 – Philadelphia chose defenseman Miroslav Dvorak, who played in 193 NHL games and totaled 11 goals and 85 points. Dvorak made his NHL debut four days before his 31st birthday. He was the first player over the age of 30 ever drafted by an NHL team.

1983 – Detroit grabbed renowned pugilist and bad boy Bob Probert, who racked up 163 goals, 384 points and 3,300 career PIM in his 935-game NHL odyssey. Probert ranks fifth all-time in career penalty minutes.

1984 – Minnesota selected forward Ken Hodge, son of the former Blackhawks, Bruins and Rangers star of the same name. The younger Hodge scored 30 goals as an NHL rookie with the Bruins in 1990-91, but that accounted for most of his career total of 39. He finished with 87 points in 142 NHL contests.

1992 – Detroit took right wing Darren McCarty, who has 126 goals, 286 points, 1,450 PIM and three Stanley Cup championships over the course of a 742-game NHL career.

1998 – Los Angeles selected center Justin Papineau, who has 11 goals and 19 points in 81 NHL games.

2000 – Calgary drafted center Jarret Stoll, who did not sign with the Flames and went back in the draft two years later. He was chosen 36th overall by Edmonton in 2002, and has played for the Oilers throughout his 205-game NHL career. Stoll has 45 goals and 129 points with the Oilers.

2001 – Carolina chose center Mike Zigomanis, now with Phoenix. Zigomanis has 17 goals and 30 points over the course of his 134 games in the NHL.

2002 – Phoenix picked goaltender David LeNeveu, who has fashioned a 5-9 record in his 21 NHL appearances.

2003 – Columbus chose center Dan Fritsche, who has collected 19 goals and 41 points in 137 NHL games thus far.

No. 95 overall
1971 – The Canadiens pegged forward Peter Sullivan with the 95th choice. Sullivan appeared in 126 NHL games, but also played in 313 contests with the WHA’s Winnipeg Jets. He played for three Avco Cup championship clubs during his WHA days. “Silky” Sullivan came from a hockey family. His dad played for the 1928 Canadian Olympic gold medalist team and his older brother Frank also played in the NHL.

1974 – Vancouver chose left wing Andy Spruce, who played 172 NHL games with the Canucks and the Rockies. Spruce totaled 31 goals and 73 points in his NHL career.

1981 – Quebec took right wing Ed Lee, who played in just two NHL games, totaling five PIM. Lee’s unique distinction is that he was the first former Princeton University varsity hockey player to play in the NHL. Lee fought Edmonton’s Kevin McLelland in his first NHL game.

1979 – Buffalo chose center Alan Haworth, who collected 189 goals and 400 points in 524 NHL games. Haworth spent five seasons with the Capitals, where he was one-third of the famed “Plumber Line” along with Craig Laughlin and Greg Adams.

1982 – Los Angeles chose left wing Ulf Isaksson, who finished up with seven goals and 22 points in 50 career NHL games.

1990 – New Jersey picked defenseman Dean Malkoc who scored a goal and totaled four points in 116 NHL games.

1997 – Florida chose forward Ivan Novosletsev, who carved out a 234-game NHL career with 31 goals and 75 points along the way.

2000 – The Rangers selected center Dominic Moore, who has 17 goals and 38 points during his ongoing 156-game NHL career. After playing with New York and Pittsburgh, Moore is now in Minnesota.

2001 – Philadelphia pegged center Patrick Sharp, who is now with the Blackhawks. Sharp has 39 goals and 73 points in 196 NHL contests to date.

2002 – Detroit drafted center Valtteri Filppula, who has 10 goals and 18 points in his 77 NHL games to date.

No. 108 overall
1975 – Philadelphia picked forward Paul Holmgren, who totaled 144 goals, 323 points and 1,684 penalty minutes in his 527-game NHL career with the Flyers and North Stars. Holmgren became the first U.S.-born player to score a hat trick in a Stanley Cup finals game when he did so for Philly in 1980.

1980 – Quebec chose forward Mark Kumpel, who amassed 38 goals and 84 points in his 288-game NHL career. Kumpel later went into coaching, and was both a head coach and an assistant coach with Portland of the AHL during its days as a Capitals’ affiliate franchise.

1981 – Colorado selected Bruce Driver, who went on to enjoy a 922-game NHL career during which he totaled 96 goals and 486 points. Driver spent his entire NHL career in the New York metro area, playing exclusively for the Devils and the Rangers. He captained the Devils briefly and was a member of the first Devils championship team in 1995.

1983 – Los Angeles chose left wing and power forward Kevin Stevens. Stevens totaled 329 goals, 726 points and 1,468 PIM in his 874-game NHL career. Stevens became the first player in NHL history to record 50 goals, 100 points and 200 PIM in the same season when he did so for the Stanley Cup champion Penguins in 1991-92.

1986 – New Jersey picked right wing Troy Crowder, whose 150-game NHL career included nine goals, 16 points and 433 PIM.

1987 – Vancouver found left wing Garry Valk, who carved out a 777-game NHL career. Valk netted 100 goals and totaled 256 points.

1988 – Quebec chose right wing Ed Ward, who enjoyed a 278-game NHL career. Ward picked up 23 goals and 49 points in the league.

1991 – Vancouver picked right wing Dan Kesa who notched eight goals and 30 points over the course of his 139-game NHL career.

1992 – Buffalo chose left wing Yuri Khmylev, who had 64 goals and 152 points in his 263-game NHL career.

1993 – Anaheim drafted goaltender Mikhail Shtalenkov, who went 62-82-19 in his 190-game NHL career with four teams.

1994 – Winnipeg chose right wing Craig Mills, who picked up five assists in his 31-game NHL career.

1998 – Calgary picked goaltender Dany Sabourin, who has a 2-8-1 record in 14 NHL games to date. Sabourin backed up Roberto Luongo in Vancouver last season.

No. 125 overall
1974 – Philadelphia tabbed goaltender Reggie Lemelin, who posted a fine 236-162-63 career record in 15 seasons with the Flames and Bruins. Lemelin was a Jennings Trophy winner, a Vezina and Masterton Trophy runner-up and he reached the Stanley Cup finals three times in his career.

1982 – Edmonton picked forward Raimo Summanen, who totaled 36 goals and 76 points during his 151-game NHL career. Summanen played on line with Petri Skriko (now a Caps scout) and Risto Jalo for Finland at the 1982 World Junior Championships. The trio set records (since broken) for points (46), goals (22), and assists (24) by one line in one tournament. Summanen and Skriko were later teammates with the Canucks. Jalo was a 1981 Washington draft choice.

1988 – Montreal chose right wing Patrik Carnback, who totaled 24 goals and 62 points in his 154-game NHL career.

No. 180 overall
1974 – St. Louis drafted center Mitch Babin, who went scoreless in an eight-game NHL career.

1978 – Atlanta grabbed left winger Bob Sullivan, whose 62-game NHL career produced 18 goals and 37 points, all with the Hartford Whalers in 1982-83. Sullivan had been drafted by the Rangers in 1977, but he never signed with the Blueshirts. He never signed with the Flames, either.

1984 – Calgary landed defenseman Gary Suter, who played 1,145 games in the league and totaled 203 goals and 845 points. Suter was a member of the 1989 Stanley Cup champion Flames team. He is the uncle of Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter.

1986 – Minnesota chose blueliner Lance Pitlick. Pitlick played in 393 NHL games, picking up 16 goals and 49 points.

2000 – Atlanta grabbed left wing Darcy Hordichuk, who is now with Nashville. Hordichuk has 12 goals, 23 points and 687 PIM in his 257 games in the league.

2004 – St. Louis selected defenseman Roman Polak, who was pointless in 19 games with the Blues in 2006-07.

No. 185 overall
1982 – Minnesota chose center Pat Micheletti, who scored two goals in a 12-game NHL career. A Hobey Baker Award finalist in 1985, Micheletti was named one of the 50 greatest players in University of Minnesota history in 2001. He is the younger brother of ex-NHL player Joe Micheletti.

1984 – Washington selected right wing Jim Thomson, who managed four goals and seven points during his 115-game NHL career with six different clubs.

No. 199 overall
1983 – Chicago snagged goaltender Dominik Hasek. Is he any good?

1991 – San Jose chose center Dale Craigwell, who recorded 11 goals and 29 points in a 98-game NHL career.

1996 – New Jersey nabbed defenseman Willie Mitchell, whose ongoing career has included 10 goals and 72 points in 384 regular season contests.
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