Elliott: Picking Dux in the draft could strengthen the blue line

Sports governing bodies and leagues have reacted differently to Russia’s Brutal Invasion of Ukrainestarting from a direct ban for athletes from Russia and Belarus on figure skating and athletics competitions and on consecrated grass Wimbledonto the adoption of the usual approach in the NHL.

The league’s biggest sanction so far has been the ruling that the Stanley Cup won’t visit Russia this summer when the trophy is played among the winners, which will only affect the Colorado Avalanche’s Valery Nichushkin. But it’s clear tensions between the NHL and Russia have escalated, with news last week that Philadelphia Flyers goalie prospect Ivan Fedotov was flown to a remote military base in northern Russia last week because he allegedly planned to leave for North America. using a fraudulent military ID. There are never any guarantees in the NHL draft — some kids peak at 18 and others take years to mature — but picking Russian players this year seemed particularly risky.

But ducksdrafting 10th after the fourth consecutive season outside the playoffs, he chose a defender of Russian origin Pavel Mintyukov, 18, with the confidence to avoid potential travel issues as he has spent the last two seasons in North America and has no intention of returning to Russia. If they are right, they might find a pearl to bolster a large young defense corps.

Left-handed shooter, 6’2″, weight about 190 pounds. Playing for a poor team last season in Saginaw, Michigan of the Ontario (Canada) Junior League, he scored 17 goals and 62 points in 67 games, finishing third among league defensemen. He previously played for Dynamo Moscow’s youth teams and was considered an excellent scorer, good at reading the game and knowing when to jump in to support the attack. “He’s been on the radar all season,” Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek said. “What I like about this player is that he is very creative in attack from defense. He has really good competition. Good hockey sense.”

From 22th a pick gained when they traded Hampus Lindholm to the Boston Bruins, the Ducks picked center Nathan Goshe from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He had 31 goals and 57 points in 66 games for the Quebec Ramparts last season, and three goals and nine points in 12 playoff games.

The Washington Capitals also selected the Russian player at number 1.20, receiving Ivan Miroshnichenko. He is recovering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma but attended the draft in Montreal. At 24, Minnesota selected right winger Danila Yurov from Magnitogorsk, the Russian youth team.

The Montreal Canadiens got off to a surprise start by drafting Slovak forward Juraj Słafkowski with the first overall pick.

Slavkovsky was 17 years old when he was named MVP at the Beijing Olympic Hockey Tournament for leading his team to a bronze medal, but Canadian-born Shane Wright was considered a safe choice for first place overall. Wright trailed Seattle at No. 1.4 after New Jersey drafted Slovak defenseman Simon Nemec and Arizona drafted Pittsburgh native center Logan Cooley from the U.S. National Team Development Program. Players from Slovakia were selected 1-2 for the first time.

“I still can’t believe this actually happened,” Slavkovsky said in an interview with ESPN. Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said Slavkovsky “trusts him. His character and personality are charming, and he draws people to him.

From the second to the seventh rounds will be held on Friday.

The Kings had no choice in the first round because they traded 19th choosing to Minnesota to acquire the rights to Kevin Fiala, with whom they later signed a seven-year contract. They own 51st.86th116th148th and 180th chooses. But on Thursday, the Kings didn’t sit idly by: they announced they’ve hired former goaltender Manon Rheom as a hockey operations/prospect advisor, with a focus on player development. Rheom became the first woman to play in an NHL game in 1992 when she scored a goal for Tampa Bay in an exhibition game. She also won an Olympic silver medal with Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Before the draft began, the Chicago Blackhawks traded forward Alex DeBrinkat to the Ottawa for the seventh and 39th picks.th This year’s draft pick and third-round pick in 2024. It’s a stroke of luck for the rebuilding Blackhawks and a risk for Ottawa, as DeBrinkat only has a one-season contract before he qualifies for limited free agency. During the draft, the Blackhawks traded Kirby Duch, who was the third pick in 2019, to Montreal for first and third round picks this year.

Earlier in the day, the newly Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche, anticipating problems with the salary cap, acquired Alexander Georgiev from the New York Rangers and is expected to release Darcy Kemper. Colorado General Manager Joe Sakic, who was named the league’s best general manager on Thursday, declined a third- and fifth-round pick this year and a third-round pick next year.

Relations between the NHL and its Russian players seem fragile, and some Russians who may have been drafted earlier have undoubtedly lost a few points due to uncertainty about whether they would be allowed to play in North America. Sports and politics often make difficult partners.