Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thrashers Add Five Players in Day Two of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft

The Atlanta Thrashers selected five players on Day Two of this weekend’s 2008 NHL Entry Draft, held at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario. Atlanta held seven selections in all over the two-day draft, including two first-round choices used on defenseman Zach Bogosian (third overall) and center Daultan Leveille (29th overall).

The Thrashers owned one choice each in Rounds 3-7 and selected right wing Danick Paquette (third round, 64th overall), right wing Vinny Saponari (fourth round, 94th overall), left wing Nicklas Lasu (fifth round, 124th overall), goaltender Chris Carrozzi (sixth round, 154th overall) and defenseman Zach Redmond (seventh round, 184th overall).

Daquette, 17, recorded 42 points (29 goals, 13 assists) in 63 games with the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) last season. The 6-0, 210-pound right wing finished third on his team with 29 goals and was second in the QMJHL with 213 penalty minutes. The Montreal, Quebec native has totaled 60 points (33 goals, 27 assists) and 325 penalty minutes in 126 games over two seasons in Lewiston.

Saponari, 18, spent the last two years in Ann Arbor, Mich. with the United States Development Program and tallied 33 points (13 goals, 20 assists) in 49 games with the Under-18 team during the 2007-08 season. The 6-0, 180-pound right wing appeared in 60 games with the USDP in 2006-07, including 39 games with the Under-17 team where he recorded 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) and 21 games with the Under-18 team, tallying seven points (four goals, three assists) in those games. The Atlanta, Ga. native is the first Georgia-born player to play for the USDP and will join his brother Victor at Boston University (Hockey East) next season. Prior to his time in Ann Arbor, Saponari played for Culver Military Academy (Ind.) in 2005-06 and led the team with 53 points (16 goals, 37 assists).

Lasu, 18, recorded 53 points (19 goals, 34 assists) in 41 games with Frolunda of the Swedish Jr. League during the 2007-08 campaign. The 5-11, 180-pound left wing also appeared in two games with Frolunda’s Swedish Elite League team. The Molndal, Sweden native was the ranked 31st among European Skaters by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service.

Carrozzi, 18, appeared in 47 games with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) last year, compiling a 25-18-2 record with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage, along with four shutouts. He started all four post-season contests for the Majors. The Ottawa, Ontario native has earned a 31-25-3-1 record with a 3.24 goals-against average, a .905 save percentage and four shutouts in 72 games over two seasons with the Majors. The 6-3, 185-pound goaltender was a member of the Gold Medal winning Team Canada at the 2008 Under-18 IIHF World Championships and won a Gold Medal with Team Ontario at the 2007 Canada Winter Games.

Redmond, 19, just completed his freshman season at Ferris State University (CCHA), where he recorded 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 37 games. The 6-1, 190-pound defenseman ranked second on the team among first-year players and sixth overall in points. Prior to beginning his collegiate career, the Traverse City, Mich. native played two seasons with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League (USHL), recording 50 points (12 goals, 38 assists) in 108 games from 2005-07.

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