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How the eastern Canadian franchises fared

Ottawa Senators first round pick Mika Zibanejad

Nick Laham/2011 Getty Images

Eastern Conference post-draft capsules

OTTAWA SENATORS

1st pick: Mika Zibanejad, 6th overall, C, 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Djurgarden, Swedish Elite League.

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Zibanejad made the jump to the Elite League at the age of 17 and gained confidence quickly. He prides himself on playing a North American-style game, combining hitting with scoring.

Other highlights: The Senators wound up with three picks in the first round. Their other first-round picks were American right winger Stefan Noesan at 21st overall and left winger Matt Puempl from the OHL's Peterborough Petes. On Saturday, they traded a third-round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Nikita Filitov, a high draft pick who has yet to meet expectations.

How they did: With three first-round picks, and nine in total, the Senators took a big step forward in their rebuilding plan. Zibanejad was taken over the higher-rated Sean Couturier but the Sens hope the presence of several Swedes on their roster eases his transition to the NHL. He could become the No. 2 centre to Jason Spezza faster than some expect.

MONTREAL CANADIENS



1st pick: Nathan Beaulieu, 17th overall, D, 6-foot-1, 179 pounds, Saint John Seadogs, QMJHL.

Beaulieu is a puck-moving defenceman who grew a little nastier last season. He played well in Saint John's run to the Memorial Cup championship, which raised his stock as the draft approached.

Other highlights: Also selected American defenceman Josiah Didier 97th overall, left winger Olivier Archambault 108th overall from Val D'Or of the QMJHL, Swedish defenceman Magnus Nygren at 113th and defenceman Darren Dietz from the WHL's Saskatoon Blades at 138th.

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How they did: Not bad, considering they had relatively few picks. GM Pierre Gauthier got a defenceman in Beaulieu who could be insurance one day if the oft-injured and newly-signed Andrei Markov continues to have health problems.



TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

1st pick: Tyler Biggs, 22nd overall, RW, 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, USA under-18 team.

GM Brian Burke says he traded up to outmanoeuvre a few other teams who were after Biggs, a big, physical forward. Biggs plays the hitting game Burke loves and may be a scoring force as well.

Other highlights: Just before the draft started, Burke hired ex-Thrashers GM Rick Dudley and traded for D John-Michael Liles. Burke hung on to his other first-round pick, 25th overall, and took defenceman Stuart Percy from the OHL Mississauga St. Michaels Majors.

How they did: Burke called it a good weekend and no one disagreed. He beefed up an already thick front office with Dudley and filled the offensive defenceman vacancy left when Tomas Kaberle was traded. Aside from Biggs, Percy is a defenceman whose stock was rising as the draft approached.

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About the Author
Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More

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