Fifth-round pick Shane Gersich meets Capitals coach Barry Trotz.
The Washington Capitals wrapped up their 2014 draft Saturday, ultimately selecting six players after arriving in Philadelphia with nine picks. Below is the full transcription of my Day 2 live blog, detailing every move Washington made throughout a speedy Saturday.
Good morning from Philadelphia, where the second day of the 2014 NHL draft is underway. The Washington Capitals select 44th overall in the second round. Updates will be posted in this space throughout the day, so check back frequently.
--- The Capitals did not hold onto No. 44 for very long, trading it and No. 74 to the Buffalo Sabres for the 39th pick. With that selection, Washington chose Czech goaltender Vitek Vanecek. The 18-year-old had a 2.64 goals against average and .921 save percentage in 38 games with the under-20 team for Bili Tygri Liberec in the Czech league.
Along with first-round draft pick Jakub Vrana, the Capitals have selected two of the best three Czech players from the Under-18 World Championships as chosen by participating coaches. Vanecek was ranked eighth among European goaltenders, according to NHL Central Scouting.
Washington does not have another selection until the fourth round (No. 104).
--- GM Brian MacLellan orchestrated yet another trade, acquiring the 89th overall pick from the New York Rangers in exchange for Washington's fourth-round selections (104, 118).
With that third-round pick, the Capitals selected Australian forward Nathan Walker, who was playing with their AHL affiliate in Hershey. Walker attended Washington's training camp last fall as an unsigned invitee, parlaying an impressive preseason into an AHL contract. The 20-year-old appeared in 43 games for the Bears, scoring five goals and assisting on six others.
Walker is the first Australian to ever be selected in the NHL draft in his third year of draft eligibility.
Message received from Australian client Nathan Walker, drafted in the 3rd round by the Caps, "We're going nuts in my house, I'm speechless."
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) June 28, 2014
--- In the fifth round, Washington took forward Shane Gersich of the United States Development Team. The 17-year-old will play for the USHL's Ohama Lancers next season before heading to the University of North Dakota in 2015-16.
---Washington swapped more draft picks, trading the 164th and 192nd selections as well as a seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft to the Winnipeg Jets for the rights to goaltender Edward Pasquale and the 159th pick.
Pasquale spent the past three seasons with the St. John's IceCaps, Winnipeg's AHL affiliate. The 23-year-old earned a 17-13-1 record with a 2.43 goals against average and .920 save percentage last season. If he is re-signed, then he will likely join the Bears as a backup to Philipp Grubauer.
The 159th pick became center Steven Spinner from Eden Prairie (Minn.) High School.
-- Washington's final pick (No. 194) was Swedish forward Kevin Elgestal.
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