ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals selected goaltender Vitek Vanecek (39th overall), left wing Nathan Walker (89th overall), forward Shane Gersich (134th overall), right wing Steven Spinner (159th overall), and right wing Kevin Elgestal (194th overall) on the second day of the 2014 NHL Draft, held Saturday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Vanecek, 18, posted two shutouts, a 2.64 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in 38 games with Billi Tygri Liberec of the Czech Republic’s under-20 league during the 2013-14 season. The 6’0”, 180-pound goaltender represented the Czech Republic at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, posting a 4-2-0 record with a 2.74 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage to help lead the Czech Republic to a silver medal. Vanecek also represented the Czech Republic at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge in Canada and the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial at the World Junior A Challenge and posted a 2.61 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage to help the Czech Republic win a bronze medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. The Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic, native was ranked eighth overall among European goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting.
Walker, 20, registered 11 points (five goals, six assists) and 40 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2013-14. The 5’9”, 185-pound left wing represented Australia at the 2011 IIHF World Championship Division II tournament and at the 2012 World Championship Division 1 Group B tournament. Walker registered six points (four goals, two assists) and four penalty minutes in four games at the 2011 tournament and was named Australia’s best player by the tournament’s coaches. During the 2012-13 season, Walker recorded 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) and 63 penalty minutes in 29 games with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL.
Gersich, 17, recorded 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) and four penalty minutes in 26 games with the U.S. National Under-18 Team of the USHL in 2013-14. The Chaska, Minn., ranked sixth on the team in goals and eighth in points last season. In 2012-13, Gersich scored one goal in six games with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. The 5’10”, 165-pound forward has committed to play at the University of North Dakota in 2015-16.
Spinner, 18, earned 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) and 42 penalty minutes in 25 games with Eden Prarie High School in Minnesota during the 2013-14 season. The 5’11”, 192-pound right wing was ranked 96th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. Spinner has committed to play at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2015-16.
Elgestal, 18, registered 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) and 34 penalty minutes in 44 games with Frolunda of the J20 SuperElit in 2013-14. The 6’0”, 172-pound right wing represented Sweden at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship and 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, recording three points (one goal, two assists) and 27 penalty minutes in seven games at the U18 World Championship and two goals in four games at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. Elgestal was ranked 51st overall among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
The Capitals also acquired goaltender Edward Pasquale and the 159th selection in the 2014 NHL Draft in exchange from the Winnipeg Jets for the 164th and 192nd pick in the 2014 NHL draft and a seventh-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft. Pasquale, 23, posted a 17-13-1 record with one shutout, a 2.43 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage for the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL in 2013-14. In 136 career AHL games, Pasquale has registered a 66-59-7 record with 10 shutouts, a 2.63 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.
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