June 24, 2011

2011 NHL Draft - Live Coverage of Day 1

By Kirk Luedeke

Northeastern's Jamie Oleksiak to Dallas

ST. PAUL- Northeastern University defenseman Jamie Oleksiak was the first selection of the Dallas Stars at 14th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft Friday at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Toronto native, who stands 6-foot-7, weighs 244 pounds is a defensive specimen with some offensive potential. He skates well for such a big man and has excellent lateral agility.

One NHL strength and conditioning coach projected that Oleksiak will play at his physical peak at about 260-270 pounds.

Beverly, Massachusetts-born defenseman goes to Phoenix at 20th overall

Defenseman Connor Murphy, who was born in Beverly, Mass. while his father, Gord Murphy played for the Boston Bruins, became the 20th player selected in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes.

Murphy is an outstanding two-way defender who scored the gold medal-winning goal in overtime at the World Under-18 championship. He was raised in Florida and Ohio, and is a recruit for the Miami University Redhawks.

San Jose deals Coyle to Minnesota as part of package for Brent Burns

The Minnesota Wild fans cheered loudly at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at the Xcel Energy Center when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced a trade that sent defenseman Brent Burns to San Jose in exchange for Devin Setoguchi, prospect Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass.) and San Jose’s first-round pick. The Sharks get Minnesota’s second-round selection in 2012.

Coyle, who just completed his freshman season at Boston University, was San Jose’s first-rounder in 2010. He was a member of the bronze medal-winning U.S. World Junior (Under-20) team that competed in Buffalo this past winter. He scored seven goals and 26 points in 37 games with the Terriers to tie with Adam Clendening for the team lead as a freshman.

Dougie Hamilton goes to Bruins at No. 9 Overall

The Boston Bruins selected defenseman Dougie Hamilton with the ninth overall selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound native of St. Catharines, Ontario set the Niagara Ice Dogs club record for points with 58, breaking current St. Louis Blues rearguard Alex Pietrangelo’s mark.

A good skater with excellent size, passing skills and a big shot, Hamilton is still learning the nuances of the defense position after converting to defense in minor midget. He was a second-round OHL draft pick in 2009, going to his hometown Ice Dogs from the St. Catharines Falcons minor midget program.

He comes from superb athletic stock: father Doug, and mother Lynn were both Canadian Olympians in 1984. Older brother, Freddie was a San Jose draft pick a year ago and plays on the Ice Dogs with Dougie.

More to follow on Hamilton and what he does for Boston’s organizational depth to come on the main page.

First Round Notebook

MINNEAPOLIS- The 2011 NHL Entry Draft’s first round will take place tonight at the Xcel Energy Center, with the Boston Bruins holding the ninth overall selection.

Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli met with media Thursday evening to briefly discuss where the 2011 Stanley Cup champions sit, possessing a pair of non-playoff picks in the opening two rounds.

“I don’t think there will be any magic for us. I think after the first three or four (prospects) there is another group of eight that we’ll be picking through,” said Chiarelli. “There is a good batch of defensemen, wingers and centers. Oftentimes players you have ranked below your pick can creep in ahead of your pick, and good players can fall right into your lap.”

Chiarelli also mentioned that even though the Bruins have an identified need at upgrading the organization at the defense position, the team would not alter its traditional draft philosophy of taking the best player available regardless of position.

The Bruins are in the enviable position of picking twice in the top-40 and three in the top-90 (81st in the third round by virtue of Derek Morris trade with Phoenix), where had the team kept its own first- and second-round selections, would be 30th, 61st and 91st respectively. While the scouting staff still has to hit on those picks, the team is uniquely positioned to come away with a cluster of talent that could set the Bruins up as contenders for well into the current decade.

NOTEBOOK

Philadelphia made two earth-shattering deals yesterday in dealing away offensive leaders Mike Richards and Jeff Carter to Los Angeles and Columbus respectively. The Blue Jackets deal was seen coming, but the Richards deal was not. Obviously, there were leadership and dressing room issues when the captain was moved to the West Coast, but the immediate implications of this trade is that while the Flyers now have a legitimate netminder in Ilya Bryzgalov in the fold, they may have robbed Peter to pay Paul by shipping out such crucial pieces of their offense. We shall see.

Northeast Division rumblings

The Montreal Canadiens are rumored to be hot on the trail for defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, but he won’t be there at 17 for the bleu, blanc et rouge. High-flying Peterborough Petes scoring winger Matt Puempel could end up being the guy for the Habs if they stand pat. Although Puempel missed the end of the season with a hip injury, the NHL Scouting Combine revealed it was not a chronic problem for the 2010 CHL Rookie of the Year.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to swing a deal and Brian Burke (Providence, R.I.) has the draft currency to pull it off. With two late firsts, an early second to bandy about, Burke may sacrifice quantity for quantity to try and get the player the team desires. Is power center Mark McNeill the type of player the Leafs will target? The talk at the draft is that the Leafs have tried to quietly follow him, but the cat may be out of the bag with him as an object of desire.

One of the key swing picks for the first round which will determine Boston’s player at nine is Ottawa, who sits at six and it is believed GM Bryan Murray will have an interesting choice between Sean Couturier, Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Strome and possibly Swedish center Mika Zibanejad, whose stock and popularity is surging. If Couturier gets skipped, he could fall all the way down to the Bruins, which would present them with an interesting decision when their turn comes.

One off-the-grid pick that isn’t beyond the realm of possibility for Boston is Barrie center Mark Scheifele, who was Canada’s best forward at April’s World Under-18 Championships. He was a point-per-game player on a terrible team, is extremely bright (was originally bound for Cornell before changing his mind) and has the natural size and upside teams crave. Nine might be a stretch for Scheifele, but scuttlebutt here is that he won’t be too far away from being a top-10 pick and could be this year’s Ryan Johansen as a player who goes much higher than where he is being projected.

Be sure to follow the draft action on Twitter tonight, live from Minnesota: @kluedeke29