THE Washington Capitals wanted the New Hampshire guy. Washington traded the 84th, 114th and 127th picks to Winnipeg for the 61st draft pick (the final pick of the second round) of Sunday's NHL Entry Draft and then used that pick to take Manchester's Zach Sanford.
Three other players with New Hampshire ties, University of New Hampshire defenseman Brett Pesce (Carolina, 66th pick early in the third round), Holderness School of Plymouth's Terrance Amorosa (132nd by Philadelphia) and Proctor Academy goalie Merrick Madsen (162nd, Philadelphia) were also tabbed.
The 18-year-old Sanford is a 6-foot-4, 190-pound winger who played at Pinkerton Academy in Derry two years ago. He most recently played with the Middlesex Islanders of the EJHL (out of Skate3 in Tyngsboro, Mass.), where he scored 12 goals and 24 assists in 37 games.
Sanford had committed to Boston College, but will play with Waterloo of the USHL this fall. Sanford and his family were on hand at the Prudential Center in New Jersey for the draft. Attempts to reach his cell phone Sunday night were not successful.
Pesce was ranked No. 40 for North American skaters, the highest of any college player. A 6-foot-3, 175-pounder from Tarrytown, N.Y., Pesce was a true freshman at UNH and scored a goal and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-7 in 38 games.
Pesce become the first active member of the UNH hockey program drafted since sophomore center Daniel Winnik was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the ninth round (No. 265 overall) of the 2004 draft. Carolina was one of the worst teams in the NHL for goals allowed, so going after defense was a must for the Hurricanes.
Amorosa is an 18-year-old, 6-foot-1, 185-pound defenseman from Montreal. Madsen is just 17, but is a big goaltender at 6-foot-4 and 170 pounds. The California product has committed to Harvard University for the 2014-15 season. He will play with Des Moines in the USHL this fall.
The Boston Bruins were without a first-round draft pick (trading it to Dallas for Jaromir Jagr) and went for blue line help by selecting Swedish defenseman Linus Arnesson, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound 17-year-old who played with Djurgarden in the Swedish-2 league.
The book on Arnesson is that he is a mobile big man with shutdown defender potential at the NHL level. Boston has some youth on the blue line with Dougie Hamilton and playoff-breakout defender Torey Krug, and Arnesson should be able to join that mix down the road.
Boston also took Slovakian left wing Peter Cehlarik (90th, Lulea Junior, Sweden), American center Ryan Fitzgerald (120th Valley Junior Warriors, EJHL) and big (6-foot-6) American defenseman Wiley Sherman (150th, Hotchkiss School, Conn.). Boston had two more late picks as well.
The Los Angeles Kings were also without a first-round draft pick (they used it in the trade to acquire Jeff Carter), but were clearly intent on selecting Russian winger Valentin Zykov.
The Kings traded their 57th, 88th and 96th picks to Edmonton for the 37th overall pick and used it to snag the 18-year-old Zykov, who scored 40 goals and 35 assists in 67 games with Baie-Comeau of the QMJHL last year.
Zykov has decent size at 6-feet, 208 pounds. The scouting reports indicate he should be a scorer and is not afraid to go into the corners and dig out the puck. He could be in Manchester with the Monarchs next season, but another junior year would allow him to develop.
L.A. also took Canadian winger Justin Auger (103rd, Guelph, OHL), American winger Hudson Fasching (118th, USA Under-18 team), Czech goalie Patrick Bartosak (146th, Red Deer, WHL), American center Jonny Brodzinksi (148th, St. Cloud State) and Canadian defenseman Zachary Leslie (178th, Guelph). L.A. had two more late picks in hand as well.