The Buffalo Sabres took Finnish defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen with their first pick in the NHL draft Sunday, eighth overall. They also went with defense with their second pick, taking Nikita Zadorov of the London Knights 16th.
Ristolainen, 6-foot-4, was rated eighth overall by TSN in their final draft rankings. He scored 15 points (3-12-15) for TPS Turku of the Finish Elite League.
Zadorov is 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds. He totaled 25 points (6-19-25) for London of the OHL and was plus-33.
The New Jersey Devils then made a big trade, sending the ninth overall pick to Vancouver for goalie Cory Schneider. With that pick the Canucks took forward Bo Horvat of the London Knights.
The Colorado Avalanche did as they hinted they would, selecting Halifax center Nathan McKinnon with the first pick at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.
The Florida Panthers then pulled a surprise by picking Alexander Barkov, passing on defenseman Seth Jones and winger Jonathan Drouin.
Tampa Bay selected Drouin with the third pick, meaning Jones, who had been the top-rated player for much of the spring, has fallen out of the top three.
Jones didn’t drop out of the top four. Nashville, which lost defenseman Ryan Suter in free agency last year, took the Portland defenseman with the fourth selection.
There were rumors that Carolina would trade the fifth overall selection, but the Hurricanes held on to it and took center Elias Lindholm.
The Calgary Flames had three picks in the first round, sixth, 22nd and 28th. With the first of those selections, GM Jay Feaster took center Sean Monahan.
The Edmonton Oilers, who had been rumored to be shopping the seventh overall pick, instead kept it and selected defenseman Darnell Nurse. He is the nephew of former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.
With the 10th pick, Dallas took big Russian winger Valeri Nichushkin.
Philadelphia got the big defenseman they craved, taking Sam Morin at 11th overall.
The Phoenix Coyotes, for the third year in a row, took the son of a former NHLer, selecting forward Max Domi of the London Knights. He is the son of Tie Domi.
With the 13th pick, the Winnipeg Jets took defenseman Joshua Morrissey.
The Columbus Blue Jackets took Swedish center Alexander Wennberg and the Islanders followed by selecting defenseman Ryan Pulock of the Brandon Wheat Kings 15th.
After the Sabres took Zadorov, Ottawa picked center Curtis Lazar of the Edmonton Wheat Kings.
The San Jose Sharks then traded with Detroit for the 18th overall pick and took defenseman Mirco Mueller. The Red Wings dropped back to 20th overall and picked up a second-round selection, 58th overall.
With their second pick of the first round, at 19th, the Columbus Blue Jackets took forward Kerby Rychel, the son of former NHL tough guy Warren Rychel.
Detroit then took Andre Pronovost’s grandson, forward Anthony Mantha.
The Toronto Maple Leafs selected Frederik Gauthier, a 6-5, 210-pound center.
With the 22nd pick, the Calgary Flames took speedy winger Emile Poirier. The Flames got the pick from the St. Louis Blues in the trade for defenseman Jay Boumeester.
At 23rd, the Washington Capitals selected Swedish winger Andre Burakovsky.
The Vancouver Canucks selected small but dynamic forward Hunter Shinkaruk with the 24th pick.
Montreal took Michael McCarron 25th. He’s the first player from the United States selected since Jones at fourth overall. At 6-5, 22-pounds, the forward addresses the Canadiens’ need for size.
Offensive defenseman Shea Theodore went 26th to Anaheim.
With their final pick of the first round, the Blue Jackets took forward Marko Dano.
Forward Morgan Klimchuk went to Calgary at 28th. He scored 36 goals for Regina last season.
Dallas then took Jason Dickinson of the Guelph Storm with the 29th pick, giving Lindy Ruff two new forwards in his first draft with the Stars.
Closing out the first round, Chicago GM Stan Bowman selected Ryan Hartman from Plymouth.