In NHL draft, Washington Capitals select another Russian, Stanislav Galiev
Sunday, June 27, 2010
LOS ANGELES -- One day after selecting a Russian in the first round, the Washington Capitals surprised no one when they drafted Stanislav Galiev from -- you guessed it -- Moscow.
Galiev, a skilled forward who says he wants "to be" Capitals winger Alexander Semin, was the team's first pick on an otherwise mundane second day of the NHL Entry Draft that saw the Capitals swap picks and draft a goaltender, a center and a defenseman.
The fact that Washington used its first two picks this weekend on Russians is no coincidence. Although many teams worry that prospects from Russia might be tough to sign and/or difficult to lure to North America in the absence of a transfer agreement, General Manager George McPhee said he isn't worried. After all, the Capitals possess the biggest incentive this side of the Atlantic: the chance to play alongside Russian stars Alex Ovechkin and Semin.
"That's absolutely why we're doing it," said McPhee, who used the 26th overall pick to draft center Evgeny Kuznetsov on Friday. "We haven't had an issue with these players coming over to play. When we're picking where we are, and you're getting players that are just as good or better than the ones that are at the top of [each] round, it makes good sense for us to do it."
Galiev racked up 15 goals and 47 assists in 67 regular season contests for St. John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, led all rookie scorers with 8 goals and 11 assists in 19 playoff games and was NHL Central Scouting's 20th-ranked North American player. On his profile, he was quoted as saying: "Semin, he's my favorite player. I want to be him."
After selecting Galiev, the Capitals dealt picks 116 and 146 to Toronto for No. 112, which they used to draft goaltender Philipp Grubauer, a German who helped the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League to the Memorial Cup.
"We had him rated so high, to have him still there in the fourth round, we thought he would go in the second or third," McPhee said. "To be that close and to be able to move up and get him with an inexpensive move, to make sure we got him, it's something we wanted to do."
Ross Mahoney, the Capitals' director of amateur scouting, said Grubauer's aggressiveness, quick feet and tough-to-beat glove hand set him apart.
"Windsor did what they thought they needed to do to win when they traded for him," Mahoney said. "They thought he was the best goalie available."
In the fifth round, the Capitals selected Caleb Herbert, a 5-foot-10 center from Bloomington-Jefferson High School in Minnesota. Mahoney described Herbert as "tenacious" and praised him for his competitiveness.
Samuel Carrier was chosen with the team's sixth-round pick. Carrier is a puck-moving defenseman from suburban Montreal who had 10 goals and 32 assists in 66 games for Lewiston of the QMJHL.
Asked if he considers himself a Canadiens fan, Carrier shot back with a smile, "Not anymore."
Draft notes: Eleven American-raised players were drafted in the first round, setting a new record. . . . Midway through the second round, a Canadiens fan yells from the stands in the direction of Coach Bruce Boudreau: "Sorry, Bruce, it wasn't me. It was Halak."