Photo: Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament

In the secound round of the NHL Draft, the Capitals traded up, dealing the 44th and 74th overall picks to Buffalo in exchange for the 39th overall selection, Czech goaltender Vitek Vanecek from Bily Tygri Liberec of the Czech Elite League.

This is a surprise pick as Vanecek was not ranked highly by most, excluding NHL Central Scouting, who had him ranked eighth among European goaltenders.

There is not much we know about Vanecek: he’s 6-foot-1, weighs 189 pounds, and will begin the season on loan with HC Benatky nad Jizerou of the Czech second league.

Just like the Caps’ first-round pick, Jakub Vrana, Vanecek played for the Czech U18 team that surprisingly went all the way to the World Champs final.

  • Aaron Contic

    New to this site. I just don’t see how we are going to get our top 4 defenseman without trading for one. Free agency for left handed defenseman is thin and now with us using our first two picks and trading the third one away, I’m foreseeing the same problems we had last year.

  • Sarah

    Welcome, Vitek!

  • Sarah

    Welcome to the geekiest hockey blog on the interwebs, Aaron! I share your frustrations, everybody here does, the problem is the Stars, the Canucks, the Isles, the Oilers, in fact most of the teams in the league are all gunning for a big name blue liner, and it’s going to take more than a few lousy picks to get one, no matter what the package. It’s like getting a seven footer in the NBA.

    Problem is, we’re 18 years too late to draft Chara, and even if we time warped back and stole him from his parents, he still wasn’t ready for the NHL in his first season. If Mac can fix our D this weekend, or even this entire offseason– and re-sign Grabo!– then I say he can start his own religion. I mean, Jim Nill can’t, Honka notwithstanding, as Honka is just another cub at this point. So the Stars’ D is probably still going to suck somewhat this season. As I’ve pointed out before, thank God our fans are all either patient enough to give Nill time, or too busy yelling at the Cowboys to bother him.

    A while back I suggested defenseman recruiting scenarios involving duct tape and car trunks, but somebody informed me this isn’t allowed in the new CBA. So I’m going to go sulk now. Or come to think of it, maybe I’ll go outside since it’s really nice out and I recently discovered that my awesome neighbor has a mastiff she’ll let me play with.

  • Chris Cerullo

    I don’t understand this organization

  • Pat Magee

    We’ve always had good fortune when drafting goalies…. Just don’t understand the pasquale deal.

  • JenniferH

    Welcome to the most awesome blog ever. I’m of a more optimistic bent and just waiting to see what BMac and Trotz have planned.

  • Diller M

    my big question is were there any changes with the scouting staff. If not, then I’m ok with the picks, as they have been above average (especially for goalies) in the past decade, if so, then I’m TOTALLY FREAKING OUT!

  • wood

    Yeah we need centers and Defensive Defensemen…..I know lets get a goalie and pick wingers lol Meet the new boss same as the old boss

  • OlietheGoalie

    We have a history of goalies with weird names, and it seems like we continue this trend. “Do you have to pause before saying his name? Yes? Ok, sign him.”

  • OlietheGoalie

    Also, yes I know that Holtby’s name isn’t that hard, but I called him “Brandon” the first three times before I did a double take and wondered why there weren’t two N’s.

  • ugh

    You do realize that any person we’d draft would be at least 2-3 years out before having a legit shot at cracking the main roster and having a significant impact?

    On second thought…you probably don’t.

  • Sarah

    You know, I didn’t mean to sound quite so pessimistic. What you said here summed up how I really feel, especially since in Trotz we already have the single most important hire we could possibly get to fix our D, both in the short and long term.
    I didn’t mean to make it sound like fixing our current roster through trades is impossible, or necessarily takes years and years to accomplish, it’s just that if it were easy and quick to do– or could be done this weekend– Mac and a lot of other GM’s would be doing exactly that.
    Bottom line, although this isn’t directed at Aaron, I was tired of these kids getting a Bronx cheer on their big day just because they aren’t a quick solution to a problem that has no quick solution.
    I agree, let’s see what they’ve got planned and judge the season by how the season goes, not by one weekend of decisions. I always really like your posts, Jennifer!

  • Sandra Dee Lee

    I call him Hot!~by and have since he was a rookie and so I trip MYSELF up when I try to say his name out loud to non-insane people.

  • wood

    oh no i got out done by another know it all…..hey idiot if you dont draft and grow them then you will never have them. But you’re a highly intelligent guy with an IQ of zero like most other Caps fans who shout out who cares when we get scored on at home. SMMFH ugh !!

  • JenniferH

    Thanks, Sarah. I like yours too. Nice having another regular female on here. (I know we have a few.)

    So many are so negative the last few days, it’s been difficult to keep my Pollyanna going, but I still have it. I just really do think that despite the contracts and losing certain players, that Trotz and the experienced assistant coaches and actually having experienced D is going to be HUGE for this team. I’m REALLY excited.