Senators deal 1st-rounder for defenceman
Rundblad played in Swedish Elite League this past season
The Ottawa Senators acquired defenceman David Rundblad from the St. Louis Blues for the 16th pick in Friday's NHL draft.
The Blues then selected winger Vladimir Tarasenko from HC Sibir Novosibirsk of the Kontinetal Hockey League.
Rundblad, a 19-year-old native of Lycksele, Sweden, was picked 17th overall by the Blues at the 2009 draft.
"He's one of the people who fit today's game, I feel," said Senators general manager Bryan Murray. "He's very smart, a good puck mover and playmaker."
The six-foot-two, 190-pounder had one goal and 12 assists for Skelleftea SW of the Swedish Elite League last season.
"Ottawa got themselves a good player," said Blues president John Davidson. "He's a tremendous prospect."
Murray said Rundblad will still need some seasoning before making the jump to the NHL.
"We think this guy can come and play within a year," added Murray. "He goes back, plays one more year in Sweden and can step in and play in the NHL next year."
The six-foot-two, 189-pound Rundblad, who recently signed a contract with St. Louis, represented Sweden at both the 2009 and 2010 world junior hockey championships.
"I remember sitting beside [Blues' executive] Al MacInnis last year at the world juniors," Murray said. "I said, 'Boy, you've got a Hell of a player there.' He said, 'I know."'
Murray said he was hoping to draft a forward at No. 16, but when it came time for Ottawa's pick, that player was off the board.
"There was a forward we were looking at," Murray said. "But when he disappeared, we thought that this was an opportunity to get another high-end defenceman."
The Senators do not have another selection until the third round, 76th overall. Ottawa also has picks in the fourth, sixth and seventh rounds.
Tarasenko, an 18-year-old from Yaroslavl, Russia, scored 13 goals and added 11 assists last season in the KHL.
He led Russia with four goals in the 2010 world junior hockey championship.