WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Washington Capitals
acquired a first-round draft pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and center Jiri Novotny from the Buffalo Sabres
in exchange for center Dainius Zubrus
and defenseman Timo Helbling, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.
"Dainius and his agent were first class throughout the negotiations, but unfortunately we had to make a trade," McPhee said. "Jiri Novotny is a young center who should help our club, and the first-round pick is a valuable asset moving forward."
The first-round pick gives the Capitals two selections in the first round of this June's draft and four picks in the first two rounds. Washington has made 11 first-round selections in the past five drafts, more than any other team in the league.
Novotny, 23, has played 64 games the past two seasons for the Sabres, recording eight goals and eight assists (16 points). The 6'2", 209-pound native of Pelhrimov, Czech Republic, has six goals and seven assists (13 points) in 50 games with Buffalo this year.
Novotny was a first-round draft choice of the Sabres in 2001 (22nd overall) and spent four seasons with the Rochester Americans
of the American Hockey League (AHL), posting 17 goals and 37 assists (54 points) for the Amerks last season.
Zubrus, 28, spent parts of six seasons with the Capitals and posted 52 points (20 goals, 32 assists) in 60 games this season. Helbling, 25, played two games with Washington this year while spending most of the season with the AHL's Hershey Bears