OTTAWA – The Tampa Bay Lightning did what they were expected to do Friday by taking Sarnia Sting and Team Canada centre Steve Stamkos with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 Entry Draft. Seventeen out of the thirty first-rounders were Canadians, while seven came from Europe.
The premium that NHL teams are placing on talented defencemen was apparent early, as the next four picks all were used on blueliners. In all, 10 of the first 20 picks and 12 of the 30 in the opening round were defencemen. Rounds 2 - 7 are being conducted today. Go to nhl.com for full coverage.
Of those 30 picks, only 12 were made by the team that originally owned the choice. After Tampa Bay took Stamkos, the consensus No. 1 pick, Los Angeles began a parade of four straight defencemen by choosing Drew Doughty from the Ontario Hockey League's Guelph Storm. Atlanta nabbed Zach Bogosian and St. Louis took Alex Pietrangelo.
Nikita Filatov (CSKA Moscow, Russia) was, also as expected, the first European to go when Columbus selected him sixth overall. Mikkel Bodker became the highest drafted Danish player when Phoenix took him as number 8.
Phoenix also drafted the exciting Russian Viktor Tikhonov (Severstal Cherepovets) with their second selection in the first round. Tikhonov, who was named Best Forward at the 2008 IIHF World U20 Championship, went as number 28, with a pick Phoenix obtained from Dallas. Tikhonov, the grandson of the legendary Soviet coach with the same name, was not expected to go in the first round at all.
The most coveted European players were Swedes, with D Erik Karlsson being selected by Ottawa (15th pick), F Anton Gustafsson went to Washington (21) and F Mattias Tedenby going to New Jersey as 24.
The most interesting twist was Gustafsson, who was selected by the club his father Bengt-Ake (Swedish national team coach) represented many years in the 80s.
Click here for the complete list first round draft selections.
The first day of the draft also included many trades. Go to the end of story for full summary of all trades made during the first round of the NHL draft.
The New York Islanders traded down twice, picking up two second-round picks and a third-rounder in deals with Toronto and Nashville. Phoenix wound up taking Viktor Tikhonov with the 28th pick – its second of the first round and a choice that went from Dallas to Los Angeles to Anaheim before the Coyotes dealt away a couple of second-round choices to get another first-rounder.
The prize of the night was Stamkos, a 58-goal, 105-point scorer and a player the Lightning had targeted since winning the Draft Lottery on April 7. The Bolts resisted some tempting offers for the pick.
"There were some people who came in and made offers," GM Jay Feaster said. "I just used the standard that if we weren't being sold, that if I were just reporting to
Ron Campbell, my boss, as normal, I wouldn't have bothered him with a phone call."
Stamkos said he plans to play in the NHL this fall.
The selection of Doughty, Bogosian and Pietrangelo preceeded a deal that enabled the Toronto Maple Leafs to select Luke Schenn of the WHL's Kelowna Rockets. Columbus broke the string of defencemen by taking Russian forward Nikita Filatov – but not before they also landed centre R.J. Umberger, an Ohio State product, from Philadelphia in a deal that sent the 19th overall pick to the Flyers.
The selection of Filatov triggered a run on forwards. Nashville traded with the Islanders to move up and take Colin Wilson of Boston University, the son of former NHLer Carey Wilson.
Phoenix took Mikkel Bodker, a left wing from Kitchener of the OHL and a native of Denmark. The Islanders tabbed Windsor Spitfires centre Josh Bailey, Vancouver took Brampton centre Cody Hodgson and Chicago chose centre Kyle Beach from Everett of the WHL.
Then it was back to defensemen. Buffalo moved up to take 6-foot-7 Tyler Myers of Kelowna and Los Angeles took Regina's Colten Teubert. After Carolina took speedy forward Zach Boychuk of Lethbridge, Ottawa traded up to nab Swedish defenceman Erik Karlsson.
Boston and Anaheim took long-term projects. The Bruins took 6-foot-5 centre Joe Colborne, who's headed for the University of Denver, from Camrose of the Alberta Junior Hockey League at No. 16, while the Ducks chose Minnesota high school defenseman Jake Gardiner at No. 17.
Nashville took the first goaltender, Chet Pickard of Tri-City of the WHL, at No. 18 before Philadelphia and the Rangers added defencemen. The Flyers took Lethbridge's Swiss defenceman Luca Sbisa and the Rangers tabbed Oshawa's Michael Del Zotto.
By then, half of the 20 picks had been used defencemen. The pace slowed in the final 10 choices of the first round, though the dealing did not.
Washington traded up with New Jersey to get Sweden's Anton Gustafsson, the son of former Washington star Bengt-Ake Gustafsson. After Edmonton took Regina centre Jordan Eberle at No. 22, the Devils traded down again, dropping down one pick while Minnesota took defencemen by taking Tyler Cuma from Ottawa of the OHL.
New Jersey used the 24th pick to nab Swedish forward Mattias Tedenby. Calgary used the pick it got from Montreal for Tanguay to select Windsor centre Greg Nemisz.
Buffalo, picking 26th with a choice obtained from San Jose in the deal that sent Brian Campbell to the Sharks at the trade deadline, chose Tyler Ennis, a 146-pound centre who scored 43 goals and 91 points for Medicine Hat of the WHL.
Washington got a second first-rounder by dealing defenceman Steve Eminger and the 84th pick to Philadelphia and chose USHL defenseman John Carlsson. Phoenix took Viktor Tikhonov before Atlanta tabbed another small speedster, Michigan State-bound Dalton Leveille, a 29-goal scorer with St. Catherines of the OHL. Detroit completed the opening round by taking Guelph goaltender Jack McCollum.
The final six rounds of the Draft will be held Saturday. Don't be surprised to see more dealings when the selection process resumes.
Following is a list of trades completed during the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place:
Florida traded C Olli Jokinen to Phoenix for D Keith Ballard, D Nick Boynton and Ottawa’s 2nd-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (49th overall, previously acquired).
Calgary traded its 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (17th overall) and 2nd-round pick in 2009 to Los Angeles for C Mike Cammalleri and the Kings’ 2nd-round pick in 2008 (48th overall, previously acquired).
Anaheim traded Edmonton’s 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (12th overall, previously acquired) to Los Angeles for Calgary’s 1st-round pick (17th overall, previously acquired) and Dallas’ 1st-round pick in 2008 (28th overall, previously acquired).
Columbus traded Colorado’s 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (19th overall, previously acquired) and the Blue Jackets’ 3rd-round pick in 2008 (67th overall) to Philadelphia for C R.J. Umberger and the Flyers’ 4th-round pick in 2008 (118th overall).
Calgary traded LW Alex Tanguay and its 5th-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (138th overall) to Montreal for the Canadiens’ 1st-round pick in 2008 (25th overall) and 2nd-round pick in 2009.
NY Islanders traded their 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (fifth overall) to Toronto for the Maple Leafs’ 1st-round pick in 2008 (seventh overall) and, at the Islanders’ option: either Pittsburgh’s 2nd-round pick in 2008 (60th overall, previously acquired) and Toronto’s 3rd-round pick in 2009; or Toronto’s 3rd-round pick in 2008 (68th overall) and Toronto’s 2nd-round pick in 2009.
NY Islanders traded Toronto’s 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (seventh overall, previously acquired) to Nashville for Florida’s 1st-round pick in 2008 (ninth overall, previously acquired) and Florida’s 2nd-round pick in 2008 (40th overall, previously acquired).
Buffalo traded its 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (13th overall) and its 3rd-round pick in 2009 to Los Angeles for Edmonton’s 1st-round pick in 2008 (12th overall, previously acquired).
Nashville traded its 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (15th overall) to Ottawa for the Senators' 1st-round pick in 2008 (18th overall) and 3rd-round pick in 2009.
New Jersey traded its 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (21st overall) to Washington for the Capitals' 1st-round pick in 2008 (23rd overall) and 2nd-round pick in 2008 (54th overall).
New Jersey traded Washington's 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (23rd overall, previously acquired) to Minnesota for the Wild's 1st-round pick in 2008 (24th overall) and 3rd-round pick in 2009.
Washington traded D Steve Eminger and the Capitals' 3rd-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (84th overall) to Philadelphia for the Flyers' 1st-round pick in 2008 (27th overall).
Anaheim traded Dallas' 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (28th overall, previously acquired) to Phoenix for the Coyotes' 2nd-round compensatory pick (35th overall) and 2nd-round pick (39th overall) in 2008.
– with files from NHL.com