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2009 NHL Entry Draft - Live Blog Day 2

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

1:57 PM:

Pittsburgh traded the final pick in the 2009 draft to the Montreal Canadiens. Thus, concluding this year's draft. Here is a quick recap of the Penguins seven selections:

Round 1, D Simon Despres
Round 2, D Philip Samuelsson
Round 3, F Ben Hanowski
Round 4, F Nick Petersen
Round 5, D Alex Velischek
Round 5, C Andy Bathgate
Round 6, D Viktor Ekbom

So long from Montreal!!!

1:32 PM:
General manager Ray Shero spoke briefly with the media a moment ago. Here are some of the highlights from that conversation, which mostly centered around free agency.

On trying to lock up the team's free agents before July 1
"We'll go back Monday and really turn our attention to trying to get the players before July 1."

On possibly re-signing Ruslan Fedotenko
"We'll see where that goes over the next week as well. We'll wait and see what happens next week."

On if he expects Rob Scuderi to test free agency
"I think he'll do that and it's a good idea. We've had conversations with his agent and Rob and there is the unknown as far as what's out there. We've had good discussions but I believe he will go to July 1. When guys go to July 1, sometimes they come back, sometimes they don't. They don't know what a hometown discount is; they don't know what's out there. We'll have a conversation Monday and Tuesday but that wouldn't surprise me, wouldn't shock me, won't disappoint me. Rob knows we'd like to have him back but at the same time, Rob has never made a lot of money. We'll see how it goes for him but we've made it clear that we want him back."

1:08 PM:
We are inching closer to the end of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. We are currently in the sixth pick of the seventh round. The Stanley Cup champions Penguins will have the honor of making the final selection to wrap up draft weekend.

1:05 PM:
A picture of the Penguins announcing their second-round selection (Philip Samuelsson).



1:01 PM:
The Penguins used the last pick in the fifth round to select Viktor Ekbom of the Swedish Elite League.

12:59 PM:
A shot of the Penguins 2009 draft jersey worn by all their selections.



12:55 PM:
Here are some comments from Pittsburgh's first fifth-round draft pick, Alex Velischek, son of former NHL player Randy Velischek.

On his father's advice for the draft
"He said the draft isn't the end all, be all. Just do your best and it's out of your hands at this point. Hopefully you get an opportunity to play one day. This is just one step closer to my final goal, which is to play professional hockey."

On his father playing in the NHL
"He introduced me to the atmosphere of being a professional hockey player, being a professional athlete, especially in Montreal. I grew up here in the summers. Hockey has been a part of my life since I was 2 years old."

On his game
"I'm the opposite of my dad. I'm more of an offensive defenseman. I step up in the play and take calculated risks. I like to control the puck at the point on the power play. I'm not really a checker but I'll play the body. I keep tight in the defensive zone but I like to take risks in the offensive zone."

12:49 PM:
Here are some quotes from Nick Peterson.

On being draft
"It's a great feeling. I am 20 years old so I didn't know what was going to happen coming into the draft, if I was going to be drafted or not. I talked to a lot of teams but didn't know if it was going to happen. The Pittsburgh Penguins were the team that won the Stanley Cup this year. It's a great organization with a lot of young players."

On next season
"Hopefully I can break into the lineup. I know it's a strong team but being on a winning team like Pittsburgh and a team that's going up and up is a great thing for me. Hopefully I can make a name for myself."

On his strengths and weaknesses
"I am an offensive player. I have good vision, passing. I'm a bigger guy so I like to play in the corners and I have a huge shot. Weaknesses, I have to work on playing better defensively."

12:34 PM:
Below are some shots of Pittsburgh's fourth-round pick Nick Petersen of Shawinigan of the QMJHL. The first is his media appearance and the second is an action shot.





12:29 PM:
The Penguins took Andy Bathgate of the Belleville Bulls, the same team that Eric Tangradi played for. He is also the grandson of Hall of Famer and original Penguin Andy Bathgate.

12:28 PM:
Here are some quick facts on Alex Velischek:

• Velischek helped lead the Delbarton School of Morristown, New Jersey to its second straight state championship (Interscholastic Athletic Association Non-Public School) this season. The team captain, he had 51 points (16-35-51) and a plus-61 rating leading his team to a state-record 27 victories -- Anaheim Ducks forward George Parros also went to Delbarton High School.

• His father, Randy, was drafted by Minnesota in the third round, 53rd overall in 1980. A Providence College graduate (1983), he played 509 NHL games for three NHL teams (Minnesota, New Jersey and Quebec) between 1982 and 1992.

• He will attend Providence College in the fall of 2009, following in his father’s footsteps.


12:01 PM:
Here are some quick facts on Hanowski:

• Hanowski had a prolific high school hockey career leaving a legacy at Little Falls that will be hard to surpass. He had 73 goals and 135 points (73-62-135) in 31 games, this season, including 14 hat tricks and 10 games with six-or-more points.

• He set the record for most points in a high school hockey career, surpassing an 11-year-old mark of 378 points, set by Johnny Pohl of Red Wing High from 1994-95 through 1997-98. Hanowski finished his career with 405 points (196-209-405) needing 111 games to break the mark Pohl had set in 112 – he tied the record with a shorthanded goal during a five-on-three and surpassed the record with a power-play goal.

• The Little Falls Flyers have made five consecutive appearances at the Minnesota Class ‘A’ State Tournament, four of them with Hanowski. In his career he has only lost three times on his home rink, finishing with an overall high school record of 105 wins 16 loses and two ties (105-16-2).

• In 2008-09 he was named the Associated Press State Player of the Year and a Mr. Hockey Finalist. Next fall he'll play for St. Cloud State University.

• His older brother, Beau, finished a four-year career at Little Falls in 2008 with 237 career points and will be a sophomore at South Dakota State next year. His youngest brother, Joey, centered the third line at Little Falls as a freshman this season.

• He credits his dad for having the most influence on his career – “he coached me until I was 14 and taught me how to play the game” and his childhood hockey idol was John Pohl – “I watched the Gophers when I was little”.

•Making it to the State tournament in his senior year, by way of an overtime win, is his most memorable hockey moment.

11:58 AM:
With the second pick of the fifth round the Penguins selected Alex Velischek, son of former NHL player Randy Velischek.

11:54 AM:

With their fourth-round pick, the Penguins snatched Nick Petersen from the QMJHL and concludes the fourth round of the 2009 NHL draft.
 
11:45 AM:
Here are some comments from Penguins’ third-round pick Ben Hanowski:
 
On his style of play:
“I’m an offensive big guy. I can play wing or in the middle. I try to make plays around the net and in the corners. I’m good at coming out with the puck and making plays around the net, finding the right spot to be at the right time.”
 
On getting drafted:
“There were a lot of years of work and it’s a great day. You’ll remember this for the rest of your life. It’s kind of hard to describe what’s going through my mind right now.”

11:28 AM:
Ulf Samuelsson was kind enough to chat with the media about his son getting drafted into the NHL.

On the shadow he casts over his son:
"He's gone through that a long time ago. He's going to Boston to play college. If he can handle that he certainly can handle going to Pittsburgh and playing there. He's a mentally tough kid. He can handle it."

On his son getting drafted in the second round:
"It's exciting. I was hoping he would go in the mid-fourth round so I would be champion of the family for going early in the fourth round. That was a long time ago. He's got me beat by quite a bit. I'm sure I'll hear about that."

11:19 AM:
Here are some quick facts on Samuelsson:

• Samuelsson played for Team USA at the 2009 Under-18 World Championships, helping them win a gold medal in front of a home crowd in Fargo, North Dakota. He recorded three points (0-3-3) and co-led the team with a plus-nine rating. He played for Team Sweden at the 2008 Four Nations tournament in Lake Placid, New York, but will now play for the U.S. in further international tournaments.

• His father, Ulf Samuelsson, played 1080 NHL games, totaling 333 points (57-276-333) with five different teams (Hartford, Pittsburgh, NY Rangers, Detroit and Philadelphia) between 1984 and 2000. He played seven seasons for the Hartford Whalers, the team that drafted him 67th overall in the fourth round of the 1982 Entry Draft.

• He played his minor hockey for PF Changs in Phoenix, the Connecticut Lazers and the Philadelphia Phantoms before joining the USHL and has committed to Boston College.

• His childhood idol was his dad and credits him for having the most influence on his career – he wears number five the same number his father wore.

• Samuelsson got started in hockey at the age of five, playing on the Rye Rangers while his dad was playing for the New York Rangers.

11:15 AM:
Here are some quick comments from Penguins' second-round pick defenseman Philip Samuelsson. (Here is a great profile on Samuelsson).

On being drafted:
"I was expecting (to get drafted) this early. It's an honor to be picked by the Stanley Cup champions. I can't really describe it. It hasn't sunk in yet."

On growing up the son of Ulf Samuelsson:
"He played the game how he played it. You can't take anything away from him. That was his career. I get comments every now and then. That's going to happen. I've learned to deal with it. I was 9 years when he retired. I played mini hockey in a lot of green rooms growing up. I met a lot of people in the hockey world at a young age."

On how his play compares to his fathers:
"We play similar styles. I'm not as physical as him but we're both shutdown defensemen that eat big minutes on the ice."

On what his dad told him about Pittsburgh:
"He said it's a great hockey town and a great sports city."

On committing to Boston College for next season:
"Boston College is a good school and I'm excited to be a part of their program in the fall."

11:07 AM:
Penguins' second-round draft pick Philip Samuelsson poses with his father, and former Stanley Cup champion of the Penguins, Ulf Samuelsson.



10:44 PM:
With their next pick, the second in the third round and 63rd overall, Pittsburgh selected winger Ben Hanowski from Little Falls High School in Minnesota.

10:40 AM:
The Penguins select defenseman Philip Samuelsson (the son of former Penguins Stanley Cup winner and fan favorite Ulf Samuelsson) from Chicago of the United States Hockey League with their second-round pick (61st overall).

10:37 AM:
Pittsburgh is on the clock.

10:35 AM:
The second round is flying by and Toronto is up with the 58th pick. The Penguins are only three slots away from making their second selection in the draft.

10:21 AM:
Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma shows off his 2009 Draft day credential.



10:15 AM:
The second day of the draft is breezing by as nine players have already been selected in the first 15 minutes. While the first round usually takes nearly four hours to complete, rounds 2 through 7 move pretty quickly. The second day usually lasts around four hours.

10:09 AM:
The second day of the draft has kicked off and we're underway. The Penguins do not select until the final pick in the second round (61st). But they'll basically be picking back-to-back as they also have the 63rd pick (originally belong to Tampa Bay) that was acquired in the Ryan Malone/Gary Roberts trade. Pittsburgh traded its own third-round pick (which would be last in the third round) to the New York Islanders for Bill Guerin. That trade worked out well for Pittsburgh.

9:58 AM:

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