- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Washington Capitals wrapped up the NHL draft on Saturday by selecting three defensemen, meaning their scouting staff left suburban Miami having made only four selections, none of them forwards, during the two-day event.

They added Jonas Siegenthaler, who played in the top league in Switzerland last season, as well as Connor Hobbs and Colby Williams, a pair of teammates from Regina of the WHL.

Only once before — in 2011, when they did not select in the first three rounds — had the Capitals made only four selections in a draft. Entering the day with four picks, they sent their third- and fourth-round choices to the New York Rangers for the opportunity to draft Siegenthaler, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound, left-handed shot who was ranked the No. 12 European skater according to NHL’s Central Scouting.

“My hand was frozen and I was a little bit shaky,” Siegenthaler told reporters at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, speaking about the wait. “[I was] just sitting in my seat and was thinking in my head, ‘Hopefully, I am the next one.’ Now I’m here.”

Siegenthaler, who turned 18 in May, played 41 games last season for Zurich, finishing with three assists and 39 penalty minutes while playing for Marc Crawford, who led the Colorado Avalanche to the Stanley Cup in 1996.

General manager Brian MacLellan told reporters after the draft had ended that the team marked Siegenthaler, who has one year remaining on his contract with Zurich, as a potential mid-first rounder.

“The defenseman — we really like [him],” MacLellan said. “We project him to be a top-four guy — a three, four guy.”

The 6-foot, 187-pound Hobbs, considered the No. 72 North American skater by Central Scouting, was drafted by the Capitals in the fifth round at No. 143 overall. He had 18 points over 45 games last season, beginning his time with Medicine Hat before being shipped to Regina.

There, he was occasionally paired with the 5-foot-11, 191-pound Williams, a 20-year-old who had 41 points, including 11 goals, and 95 penalty minutes over 64 games.

Williams was the Capitals‘ final pick, taken at No. 173 overall and in the sixth round. Assistant general manager Ross Mahoney, who is in charge of Washington’s scouting department, said that Williams was someone the team had targeted in previous drafts.

Hobbs said he didn’t know that Washington would select him, but was excited to join the Capitals because of the interviews he had with representatives in the time leading up to the draft.

“I can’t say enough,” Hobbs told reporters at the draft. “I’m super pumped, super excited to be wearing this jersey right now.”

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