The second round of the NHL Entry Draft is underway here at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The second day at the draft typically moves along rather quickly, much more so than the first round, as teams make their way through rounds two through seven.
As things stand now, the Capitals hold eight picks the rest of the way beginning with the 77th overall choice in the third round. From there they have 100 and 107 in the fourth round; 137 in the fifth; 167 in the sixth; and 195, 197 and 203 in the seventh.
I’ll post updates as the Capitals make their selections, so be sure to stay tuned throughout the day.
If you missed anything from the first day of the draft, we’ve got you covered: the Caps filled their second-line center vacancy by trading for Mike Ribeiro, GM George McPhee says the team has finished interviewing coaching candidates and get to know first-round picks Filip Forsberg and Thomas Wilson.
Update 12:40 p.m.: With their final pick in the 2012 draft at No. 203, Washington selected Russian goaltender Sergei Kostenko (5-11, 187). He wasn’t on central scouting’s initial list but the Capitals asked that he be added so that the NHL could check his draft eligibility. When it checked out, they picked up another netminder for the pipeline.
“He’s very athletic, very competitive,” Mahoney said of Kostenko. “We’ve seen him before in the past. He played with Russias under-20 team when they came across and did the Subway [Super] Series [in 2012]...We’ve been tracking him for three years.”
Update 12:36 p.m.: The Capitals broke their string of U.S. national team prospects with the 195th pick, where they selected Swedish defenseman Christian Djoos.
Djoos, 17, is listed at a rather lanky 5-11, 158, unlike the defenseman Washington took just two selections later. At No. 197 Washington added defenseman Jaynen Rissling (6-4, 223) from the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.
“Christian needs to obviously get a little bit stronger,” said Ross Mahoney, Washington’s director of amateur scouting. “But he’s a very intelligent player good hands, moves the puck very well played on all the under-18 tournaments for the Swedish team. Jaynen’s the opposite -- 6’4 223 pounds — good skater, more of a physical player.”
Update 12:28 p.m.: It’s a full day of U.S. national team development program prospects for the Caps. I
In the sixth round, with the 167th overall selection Washington picked up another member of that system in right wing Riley Barber, who is bound for Miami (Ohio). Barber (5-11, 194) wasn’t in attendance at Consol Energy Center but he has a strong, professional shooting style, according to Danton Cole, coach of the under-17 national team.
Update 11:42 a.m.: It’s another U.S. national team development program prospect for the Caps at No. 137. This time, though, they take a blueliner — defenseman Connor Carrick.
Carrick, who is bound for Michigan in the fall, had the same billet family as Wuthrich during his time with the developmental team. Cue all the ‘small world’ jokes. He is a mobile defenseman and strong skater with good instincts as a puck-mover.
“Seeing all the guys get drafted is great,” Carrick (5-11, 185) said of being selected along with several of his teammates. “You know they’re obviously phenomenal players you play with them all year long but the hard work is paying off.”
Update 11:24 a.m.: At No. 107, the Capitals added right wing Austin Wuthrich (6-1, 190) also of the U.S. national team development program. He and Di Pauli were teammates on developmental squad, will play together at Notre Dame and now have been drafted by the same NHL franchise.
Wuthrich, who will turn 19 in August, recorded 17 points in 36 games with the Fighting Irish as as a freshman in 2011-12. He, like Di Pauli, is considered a two-way forward and said they have similar styles.
“We’re not real flashy players but you get the job done,” said Wuthrich, a California native.
Update 11:03 a.m.: Washington added center Thomas Di Pauli from the U.S. national team development program with the 100th overall pick.
Di Pauli, 18, is a two-way forward who doesn’t shy away from shut-down and penalty killing roles. He has an interesting backstory as well: Born in Italy, Di Pauli (5-11, 188) began playing hockey there and when he was in seventh grade his family moved to the United States so he could pursue the sport further.
“My parents sacrificed a lot, my dad still has to travel back and forth because of his job so I’m really appreciative of what they’ve sacrificed for me,” said Di Pauli, who will play for Notre Dame next year. “It means the world to me, I’m 100 percent grateful for them giving me the opportunity to pursue my dreams that I’ve had. Without them I wouldn’t be sitting here, I wouldn’t be close to where I am.”
Update 10:41 a.m.: With the 77th overall pick the Caps selected center/left wing Chandler Stephenson (5-11, 190) from the WHL’s Regina Pats. In 2011-12, Stephenson recorded 22 goals and 20 assists in 55 games with the Pats.
“I’m an offensive forward but I’m trying to change to a two-way forward, fix the defensive part of my game,” Stephenson, 18, said when asked to describe his game.
He’s also a former teammate of Caps prospect Garrett Mitchell, who was captain of the Pats during Stephenson’s rookie year in junior. Mitchell, who appeared in 65 games with Hershey last season, welcomed Stephenson into the organization on Twitter: “Caps fans will have some fun watching this power forward play Great speed/great shot and is going to be a lot of to watch!!”