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article imageNugent-Hopkins drafted 1st overall, NHL draft wraps up round one

By Tyler Hunt     Jun 25, 2011 in Sports
The Edmonton Oilers drafted Red Deer Rebels forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with the first overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Several trades were made throughout the day involving players and draft picks during the opening round in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Nugent-Hopkins topped almost every top scouting list as the top player in the draft but with the Oilers' lack of depth on the back end, some wondered if they would pick Swedish defenceman Adam Larsson instead.
Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini opted to go with the top talent, selecting Nugent-Hopkins a year after picking forward Taylor Hall first overall in the 2010 Entry Draft.
The Rebels forward is known primarily for his playmaking, putting up 31 goals and 75 assists for 106 points in the Western Hockey League, which will certainly be a nice compliment to Hall in years to come.
The day opened up with a tribute to the late director of NHL Central Scouting E.J McGuire, who died of cancer in April.
With the second pick in the draft, the Colorado Avalanche took Swedish winger Gabriel Landeskog of the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League. Landeskog is considered to be one of the most NHL ready prospects, listed at a towering 6-foot-1, 207 pounds, and will likely join the Avalanche next season. The Rangers captain scored 36 goals and 66 points for Kitchener last season.
The Florida Panthers also went with a forward, taking Jonathan Huberdeau from Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the third pick overall.
Larsson was finally selected fourth by the New Jersey Devils. Even at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Larsson is a terrific puck-moving defenceman, and has represented Sweden at the past two World Junior Championships.
The New York Islanders selected Niagara Ice Dogs centre Ryan Strome with the fifth overall pick, a gifted player who has scored some unbelievable goals in his time in the OHL. Below is a video of a highlight reel goal that made Strome a YouTube sensation:
While the draft was the main story of the day, the Winnipeg Jets announced their official name just prior to selecting Barrie Colts centre Mark Scheifele, who moved up as he was slated to go after the top-ten on most draft rankings. It was Winnipeg's first draft pick since the old Jets (now the Phoenix Coyotes) drafted Shane Doan, who was also taken at seventh overall.
After the Philadelphia Flyers shocked the world yesterday trading away captain Mike Richards and leading scorer Jeff Carter, they received the eighth overall pick from Columbus in return for Carter. Philadelphia drafted Sean Couturier from the Drummondville Voltigeurs from the QMJHL. Couturier led most draft rankings for a while going into the 2010 World Juniors, but slipped as time went on to the seventh spot.
The Flyers weren't the only team making trades though, as four deals were made involving draft picks in the first round.
The Ottawa Senators traded their 35th and 48th overall second round picks to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for the 24th pick in the first round, which they used to select Matt Puempel of the Peterborough Petes. The Senators also selected centre Mika Zibanedjad from Djurgaden of the Swedish Elite League with their sixth overall pick, as well as Texas-born winger Stefan Noesen from Plymouth in the OHL.
The Toronto Maple Leafs also made a couple of deals today, acquiring defenceman John-Michael Liles from Colorado in exchange for a second round pick in the 2012 draft. Maple Leafs' general manager Brian Burke wasn't done there, trading Toronto's 30th pick overall (from Boston) as well as their own second rounder (39th overall) to the Anaheim Ducks to move up to the 22nd overall spot.
The Leafs drafted the big, strong American forward Tyler Biggs from the U.S. National Team Development Program. With the 25th overall pick they acquired from Philadelphia in the Kris Versteeg trade, the Leafs drafted defenceman Stuart Percy from the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors of the OHL.
Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman got himself an extra first rounder as the Blackhawks traded forward Troy Brouwer to the Washington Capitals for the 26th overall pick.
The Minnesota Wild also acquired a late first round pick in a big trade that sent defenceman Brent Burns and a second round pick in 2012 to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forwards Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle, and the 28th overall pick. Setoguchi just signed a three-year deal with San Jose just yesterday worth that will pay him $3 million a year.
As the final selections were made for the first 30 picks in this years draft, the first round is complete and the second will begin tomorrow morning back in Minnesota's Xcel Energy Center. In total 15 Canadians were taken in the first round, as well as six Swedes, and five Americans.
The Calgary Flames took the only Swiss player Sven Bartschi with the 13th pick overall, while Russia, Finland, and Denmark also had a countryman drafted in the first round.
Here are the final results of the first round of the 2011 Entry Draft:
1. Edmonton Oilers – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - centre (Red Deer WHL)
2. Colorado Avalanche – Gabriel Landeskog - right wing (Kitchener OHL)
3. Florida Panthers – Jonathan Huberdeau - centre (Saint John QMJHL)
4. New Jersey Devils – Adam Larsson - defenceman (Skelleftea Sweden)
5. New York Islanders – Ryan Strome - centre (Niagara OHL)
6. Ottawa Senators – Mika Zibanejad - centre (Djurgarden Sweden)
7. Winnipeg Jets – Mark Scheifele - centre (Barrie OHL)
8. Philadelphia Flyers – Sean Couturier - centre (Drummondville QMJHL)
9. Boston Bruins – Dougie Hamilton - defenceman (Niagara OHL)
10. Minnesota Wild – Jonas Brodin - defenceman (Farjestad Sweden)
11. Colorado Avalanche – Duncan Siemens - defenceman (Saskatoon WHL)
12. Carolina Hurricanes – Ryan Murphy - defenceman (Kitchener OHL)
13. Calgary Flames – Sven Bartschi - left wing (Portland WHL)
14. Dallas Stars – Jamie Oleksiak - defenceman (Northeastern NCAA)
15. New York Rangers – J.T. Miller - left wing (US NDTP)
16. Buffalo Sabres – Joel Armia - right wing (Porin Assat Finland)
17. Montreal Canadiens – Nathan Beaulieu - defenceman (Saint John QMJHL)
18. Chicago Blackhawks – Mark McNeill - centre (Prince Albert WHL)
19. Edmonton Oilers – Oscar Klefbom - defenceman (Farjestad Sweden)
20. Phoenix Coyotes – Connor Murphy - defenceman (US NTDP)
21. Ottawa Senators – Stefan Noesen - right wing (Plymouth OHL)
22. Toronto Maple Leafs – Tyler Biggs - right wing (US NTDP)
23. Pittsburgh Penguins – Joe Morrow - defenceman (Portland WHL)
24. Ottawa Senators – Matt Puempel - left wing (Peterborough OHL)
25. Toronto Maple Leafs – Stuart Percy - defenceman (Mississauga OHL)
26. Chicago Blackhawks – Phillip Danault - left wing (Victoriaville QMJHL)
27. Tampa Bay Lightning – Vladislav Namestnikov - centre (London OHL)
28. Minnesota Wild – Zack Phillips - centre (Saint John QMJHL)
29. Vancouver Canucks – Nicklas Jensen - left wing (Oshawa OHL)
30. Anaheim Ducks – Rickard Rakell - right wing (Plymouth OHL)
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