An ornery, high-scoring right wing named Owen Nolan was the first player taken during yesterday's National Hockey League entry draft in Vancouver, and the Washington Capitals used their initial pick to add speed and scoring to their future blueline corps.

In the midst of the drafting at B.C. Place Stadium, the Winnipeg Jets sent four-time all-star center Dale Hawerchuk to Buffalo and the Calgary Flames sent right wing Joey Mullen to Pittsburgh.

The Quebec Nordiques, picking first for the second year in a row, chose the 6-foot-1, 194-pound Nolan, who scored 51 goals last season for Cornwall of the Ontario Hockey League. The Nordiques are hoping Nolan's scoring ability and physical play (240 penalty minutes) can do for them what Cam Neely -- once a bruiser and this season a 55-goal scorer -- did for the Boston Bruins.

The Capitals picked ninth and chose Nolan's Cornwall teammate, defenseman John Slaney. The ninth pick was their earliest since they took defenseman Scott Stevens with the fifth pick in 1982. After selecting a center (Reggie Savage) and a goalie (Olie Kolzig) with their previous two No. 1 choices, the Capitals went back to defensemen for their first two choices this year.

After taking Slaney -- who is regarded as an offensive-oriented defenseman who can dash up ice and set up plays, particularly on the power play -- the Capitals' second-round choice was a big, defensive-oriented defenseman, Rod Pasma.

"We got two kids who played together on defense for the same team," said Capitals General Manager David Poile. "With Slaney, he has a dimension offensively that we certainly lack now and have never really been able to fulfill. You have to project him as a power-play type player."

"I saw Washington was coming up and I was getting a little nervous," said Slaney, who was hoping not to be taken by Minnesota one spot earlier. Like many new draftees, Slaney is hoping to make the unusual jump directly to the NHL. "Right now, I'm just looking forward to training camp and hopefully I can be there this year," he said.

It is extremely unlikely Slaney will be in a Capitals uniform when the season opens Oct. 5. Savage has yet to play a game for Washington. Kolzig played two games early last season before he was returned to his junior team (Tri-Cities) in October.

Jack Button, the Capitals' director of player personnel, was "ecstatic" to get Slaney, who had 38 goals and 59 assists last season. But he added, "I don't see anybody we're picking today playing in the NHL next year."

The North Stars, with new General Manager Bob Clarke, denied the Capitals the opportunity of selecting North Bay defenseman Derian Hatcher, whose brother, Kevin, is an all-star defenseman for Washington.

"We had them rated Hatcher, Slaney and {Drake} Berehowsky {who went to Toronto in the 10th spot}, and that's how they went," Button said of the top defensemen in the draft. Actually, Darryl Sydors started the run on defensemen when Los Angeles picked him at No. 7.

With their third-round pick (51st overall), the Capitals took Peterborough right wing Chris Longo. In the fourth, they selected Kitchner left wing Randy Pearce. The Capitals had back-to-back fifth-round picks. With the first, they picked center Brian Sakic, the brother of Quebec star Joe Sakic. With the second, they took Mark Ouimet, a center from the University of Michigan.

They also picked up right wing Andrei Kovalez of Moscow Dynamo (the fourth Soviet to be drafted by the team) and Czechoslovakian right wing Roman Kontsek. In the eighth, they took London, Ontario, right wing Steve Martell and, in the ninth, Bowling Green defenseman Ken Klee.

In Round 10, they grabbed Providence College center Mike Boback and, in Round 11, they picked up Colgate defenseman Alan Brown. Their final choice was London left wing Todd Hlusko.

After Nolan, the next three players drafted were centers. Vancouver selected Seattle's Petr Nedved, who defected from Czechoslovakia in December of 1988. Detroit opted for Niagara Falls' Keith Primeau, and the Philadelphia Flyers took Peterborough's Mike Ricci. Pittsburgh, the last of the non-playoff qualifiers, chose Czechoslovakian left wing Jaromir Jagr.

Hatcher was the first American chosen, but was just the first of three selected in the first round. Winnipeg used the 19th pick it got from Buffalo to take Keith Tkachuk, a left wing from Malden Catholic (Mass.) High School and Boston completed the first round by picking center Bryan Smolinski, who is from Genoa, Ohio, and played at Michigan State.

Trevor Kidd was the first goalie selected. He was chosen 11th by Calgary, which obtained the pick in a trade with New Jersey.

With Czechoslovakia now an infant democracy, its players are likely to be free to play in the NHL sooner than Soviet players. Consequently, not counting Nedved (who defected in 1988), there were seven Czechoslovaks drafted in the first five rounds. Just three Soviets were picked in the first five rounds.

The much-anticipated trade of Hawerchuk came off during the first round. The 27-year-old Hawerchuk, who had at least 100 points in six of his nine NHL seasons, and the Jets' first-round choice (14th overall) went to Buffalo in exchange for defenseman Phil Housley, left wing Scott Arniel, center Jeff Parker and the Sabres' first-round pick (19th overall).

Mullen, 33, a first-team all-star right wing with Calgary in 1988-89, slumped some last season though he finished with 69 points. He was traded for the Penguins' second-round draft pick, No. 26 overall.

Poile said he spoke with Jets General Manager Mike Smith about Hawerchuk, but reported that the discussion did not get very far.

CAPITALS' DRAFT PICKS

FIRST ROUND

PLAYER: John Slaney

POSITION: Defenseman

HT., WT.: 5-11 1/2, 186

CURRENT TEAM: Cornwall (OHL)

HOME TOWN: St. John's, Newfoundland

NOTES: An offensive defensemen who works well on the power play. Great speed helped him produce 38 goals and 59 assists in the 1989-90 season.

SECOND ROUND

PLAYER: Rod Pasma

POSITION: Defenseman

HT., WT.: 6-4, 207

CURRENT TEAM: Cornwall (OHL)

HOME TOWN: Georgetown, Ontario

NOTES:In his first season of junior hockey, the defense-oriented Pasma had three goals and 16 assists with 142 penalty minutes. His size is an asset.

THIRD ROUND

PLAYER: Chris Longo

POSITION: Right wing

HT., WT.: 5-10 1/2, 180

CURRENT TEAM: Peterborough (OHL)

HOME TOWN: Belleville, Ontario

NOTES: Longo is small for a winger but had 33 goals and 41 assists in his first junior season. Often played on line with Mike Ricci, the fourth pick in the draft.

FOURTH ROUND

PLAYER: Randy Pearce

POSITION: Left wing

HT., WT.: 5-11, 203

CURRENT TEAM: Kitchner (OHL)

HOME TOWN: Kitchner, Ontario

NOTES: Pearce played 62 games last season, scoring 31 goals with 34 assists. He also had 139 penalty minutes.

FIFTH ROUND

PLAYER: Brian Sakic

POSITION: Center

HT., WT.: 5-10, 179

CURRENT TEAM: Tri-Cities (WHL)

HOME TOWN: Burnaby, British Columbia

NOTES: Brother of Quebec's leading scorer, Joe Sakic, Brian had 53 goals and 99 assists this season.

FIFTH ROUND

PLAYER: Mark Ouimet

POSITION: Center

HT., WT.: 5-10, 165

CURRENT TEAM: University of Michigan

HOME TOWN: Poplar Hills, Ontario

NOTES: Ouimet scored 15 goals and added 32 assists for the Wolverines last season.

SIXTH ROUND

PLAYER: Andrei Kovazek

POSITION: Right wing

HT., WT.: 5-11, 189

CURRENT TEAM: Moscow Dynamo

HOME TOWN: Moscow

NOTES: Had 10 goals and eight assists in 41 games.

REMAINING ROUNDS

ROMAN KONTSEK

Right wing; Czechoslovakia

STEVE MARTELL

Right wing; London, Ontario

KEN KLEE

Defenseman; Bowling Green

MIKE BOBACK

Center; Providence College

ALAN BROWN

Defenseman; Colgate

TODD HLUSKO

Left wing; London, Ontario

No.Team...............Player...........Pos.Team (league)

1.Quebec.............Owen Nolan.......RW..Cornwall (OHL)

2.Vancouver..........Petr Nedved......C...Seattle (WHL)

3.Detroit............Keith Primeau....C...Niagara Falls (OHL)

4.Philadelphia.......Mike Ricci.......C...Peterborough (OHL)

5.Pittsburgh.........Jaromir Jagr.....LW..Czechoslovakia

6.New York Islanders.Scott Scissons...C...Saskatoon (WHL)

7.Los Angeles........Darryl Sydor.....D...Kamloops (WHL)

8.Minnesota..........Derian Hatcher...D...North Bay (OHL)

9.Washington.........John Slaney......D...Cornwall (OHL)

10.Toronto............Drake Berehowsky.D...Kingston (OHL)

11.Calgary............Trevor Kidd......G...Brandon (WHL)

...(from New Jersey)

12.Montreal...........Turner Stevenson.RW..Seattle (WHL)

...(from St. Louis)

13.New York Rangers...Michael Stewart..D...Michigan State (CCHA)

14.Buffalo............Brad May.........LW..Niagara Falls (OHL)

...(from Winnipeg)

15.Hartford...........Mark Greig.......RW..Lethbridge (WHL)

16.Chicago............Karl Dykhuis.....D...Hull (QMJHL)

17.Edmonton...........Scott Allison....C...Prince Albert (WHL)

18.Vancouver..........Shawn Antoski....LW..North Bay (OHL)

...(from Montreal)

19.Winnipeg...........Keith Tkachuk....LW..Malden Cath.(Mass.) H.S

...(from Buffalo

20.New Jersey.....Martin Brodeur...G...St-Hyacinthe (QMJHL)

...(from Calgary)

21.Boston.............Bryan Smolinski..C...Michigan State (CCHA)