Friday, June 26, 2009

Caps Select Johansson With 24th Pick

On a night where teams were changing draft picks like pocket change, the Capitals stayed with their 24th overall selection and picked center Marcus Johansson of Farjestads of the Swedish Elite League.

It also means the Caps have selected three Swedes in the first round over the past four years, with Nicklas Backstrom (2006) and Anton Gustafsson (2008) being the other two. Johansson was ranked eighth among European skaters.

Johansson registered five goals and five assists in 45 games in the SEL last year with limited ice time on a veteran squad, and he also had to deal with some concussion issues. He did score two goals in six games during Sweden's run to the silver medal in the 2009 World Juniors.

He will have to adjust his favorite NHL teams however, as the skater who turns 19 in October lists the Penguins and Red Wings as his favorite two clubs.

The big news of the night was the Islanders stayed true to the experts (and fans') expectations to take John Tavares No. 1 overall, with Viktor Hedman going to the Lightning and Matt Duchene going to Colorado.

With some trades expected over the weekend, the only big one on Friday was the Philadelphia Flyers acquiring Chris Pronger from the Ducks for Joffrey Lupul, prospect Luca Sbisa and Philadelphia's first rounders in 2009 and 2010. While the Flyers will get a tough, nasty defenseman, they will also certainly need to make some more salary cap room for his hefty contract.

The draft resumes when the second round kicks off at 10AM ET tomorrow, with it being televised on the NHL Network, and with George McPhee having spoken to Bruins' GM Peter Chiarelli for an extended period (per Caps Insider) with them not discussing draft picks since they were back-to-back, it could prove to be an interesting day for the Caps.

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