When the Washington Capitals traded Semyon Varlamov to the Colorado Avalanche last summer, they picked up what seemed like a bounty: a first-round pick in 2012 and a second-rounder in either 2012 or 2013.
On Friday the Caps announced they’ve elected to take that second-round selection now, which will be the Boston Bruins’ pick, 54th overall.
“It seems like an easy decision, but they’re never easy. I guess part of the thought process is, the pick this year is at 54,” general manager George McPhee said Thursday. “if we wait a year, it might be higher. It might not, but it might be higher. Is it worth the wait, or do you just go ahead and pick?”
The Caps now have three picks in the first 54, including Nos. 11 and 16 in the first round. They have 11 overall: 11th and 16th in first round, 54th in second, 77th in third, 100th and 107th in fourth, 137th in fifth, 167 in sixth and 195th, 197th and 203rd in seventh.
The 11 picks are the most of any NHL team, something that should give McPhee plenty of ammunition to improve the Caps for next season through trades.
The extra fourth-rounder came from trading Eric Fehr to the Winnipeg Jets last year. The first extra seventh-rounder came from a 2009 deal that sent Keith Seabrook’s rights to the Calgary Flames; the second came from dealing Tomas Vokoun’s rights to the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this month.
It’s considered a deep draft, at least in the first round or so. McPhee said Thursday he believed he could find difference-makers with both his first-rounders.
The first round is next Friday, June 22, and rounds 2 through 7 are Saturday, June 23, at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.