Many players opt for the USHL as a way to prepare for NCAA hockey, and Carlson had originally committed to Massachusetts. Recently he changed his mind, and Carlson will play for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League next season.
In keeping with the familiar faces theme, his coach in London will be former Caps captain Dale Hunter.
“What appealed to us is he’s going to play for Dale Hunter,” McPhee said. “We talked to Dale about that today. Dale will whip him into shape and teach him out to play. We liked him and we like his base attributes, but knowing he was going to Dale to refine everything and be taught how to play - that sealed it.”
Tampa Bay began the draft by selecting center Steven Stamkos, the consensus top player available for quite some time. The Lightning had left little doubt about the selection, starting a Web site and buying advertising space on billboards with the phrase “Seen Stamkos?” shortly after winning the draft lottery last month.
After Stamkos, trades and defensemen were the story. The next four picks were all rearguards, but the trades were coming with more frequency than the picks at one point.
Big names involved included Florida Panthers captain Olli Jokinen, who was traded to Phoenix and Mike Cammalleri, whom the Calgary Flames acquired from Los Angeles. The Flames also sent Alex Tanguay to Montreal.
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