LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Ottawa Senators finally got going in the NHL draft Saturday, selecting centre Jakub Culek in the third round.
The Senators selected the 17-year-old from the Czech Republic with the 76th pick
The six-foot-three, 185-pound Culek played for Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2009-10, collecting 13 goals and 34 assists in 63 games.
Ottawa also selected forwards Markus Sorensen in fourth round and Mark Stone in the sixth round, and defenceman Bryce Aneloski in the seventh.
The Senators didn’t have a pick until Saturday because they dealt their first-round choice, 16th overall, to St. Louis for prospect David Rundblad a day earlier.
“I’m so very happy I came to North America,” said Culek, who added that he will return to Rimouski for the coming season. “It was good for me. Every team is very good.
“In Europe, you play one season, 45 games. In North America, you play 80-90 games. It’s very tough. It’s a challenge.”
Sorensen, 18, had seven goals and 10 assists in 27 games with Sodertalje in the Swedish junior league.
Ottawa scout Anders Forsberg called Sorensen “a long-term project.”
Stone, a 19-year-old Winnipeg native, had 11 goals and 17 assists in 39 games last season with Brandon of the Western Hockey League in 2009-10.
The 20-year-old Aneloski played 30 games in his second season for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders of the USHL. A native of Pekin, Ill., Aneloski was one of 59 Americans taken.