The Washington Times - June 24, 2011, 09:26PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. | George McPhee said last week he wasn’t a big fan of this draft. So on Friday night he got out of the first round and picked up a player who can help the Capitals immediately.

The Caps acquired right wing Troy Brouwer from the Chicago Blackhawks for the 26th pick in the NHL Entry Draft.

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“Even if this was a better draft, this the kind of guy you would’ve liked to insert into our lineup,” McPhee said, adding that the trade was agreed to before the first pick was made. “By 20, 21 all the guys we had interest in were gone, so it played out beautifully for us.”

With pick No. 26, the Blackhawks took left wing Phillip Danault. The Caps got a guy in Brouwer who can play on all four lines and add some grit to a team that was swept out of the playoffs in the second round.

“He’s a power forward who can get us 20 goals a year and play physical, just won a Stanley Cup a year ago and is supposed to be a real good leader,” McPhee said. “We’re delighted to be able to add him to our lineup.”

Brouwer, who helped Chicago win the Stanley Cup last year, had 17 goals and 19 assists this past season. He’s a restricted free agent.

“I’m very excited to join the Washington Capitals organization,” Brouwer said in a statement released by the Caps. “They are consistently one of the top teams in the NHL and I look forward to helping them reach the ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”