Although promising defenseman David Carle of Anchorage announced the end of his hockey career this week because of a heart condition, the Tampa Bay Lightning nonetheless honored him Saturday by selecting him in the seventh and final round of the NHL draft.
Tampa Bay, at the behest of new owner Oren Koules, selected Carle with the 203rd pick overall in Ottawa. The draft included 211 picks.
Carle, 18, was certain to be drafted, perhaps as high as the second round, before he revealed Friday that extensive testing at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., diagnosed him with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. That condition, a thickening of the heart, can cause sudden cardiac death if the person who suffers it exercises too strenuously.
Carle's advisor, Kurt Overhardt, informed all 30 NHL teams that David, who played the last three seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota, was removing his name from draft consideration. Even so, the Lightning honored him.
"The kid worked his whole life to be drafted in the NHL, and I didn't see a reason he shouldn't be," Koules explained on the Lightning's Web site.
Carle's selection makes him and his older brother, Matt, the only brothers from Alaska to be drafted. Matt, 23, a defenseman with the San Jose Sharks, was that club's second-round pick, 47th overall, in 2003.
The University of Denver, where David Carle was slated to play in the fall, has honored his scholarship. He still will attend school there, and coach George Gwozdecky said Carle will be involved with the Pioneers in some capacity.
The selection of David Carle also snapped a three-draft drought -- 2005-07 -- in which no Alaskan was selected. That lapse marked the only time since Alaskans were first drafted in 1983 -- Harry Armstrong and Kory Wright were picked that year -- that more than two drafts have passed without an Alaskan selected.
No Alaskans were drafted in 1991 and 1992.
In all, 30 Alaskans have been drafted since 1983, and 10 of those players have gone on to play in the NHL.
Four Alaskans, all forwards, have been first-round picks: Scott Gomez, Scott Parker, Ty Jones and Barrett Heisten.
Alaskans drafted by NHL teams
Year Player Round Team
2008 David Carle 7th Tampa Bay
2004 Brandon Dubinsky 2nd N.Y. Rangers
2004 Moises Gutierrez 6th Pittsburgh
2004 Mike Curry 7th Los Angeles
2003 Matt Carle 2nd San Jose
2003 Nate Thompson 6th Boston
2002 Jason Ryznar 3rd New Jersey
2002 Joey Crabb 7th New York
2001 Steve Belanger 7th Phoenix
1999 Barrett Heisten 1st Buffalo
1999 Will Magnuson 5th Colorado
1999 Matt Shasby 5th Montreal
1998 Scott Parker 1st Colorado
1998 Scott Gomez 1st New Jersey
1997 Ty Jones 1st Chicago
1997 B.J. Young 6th Detroit
1996 Scott Parker 3rd New Jersey$$
1994 Brian Swanson 5th San Jose$
1994 Scott Swanjord 10th New Jersey
1993 Ken Hemenway 11th Philadelphia
1990 Glen Mears 3rd Calgary
1989 Hayden O'Rear 11th Vancouver
1987 Tony Link 5th Philadelphia
1987 Clint Thomas 6th N.Y. Rangers
1987 Shawn Howard 9th N.Y. Islanders
1987 Bryan Herring 12th Montreal
1986 Steve MacSwain*** Calgary
1985 Mike Cusack 8th Philadelphia
1985 Boyd Sutton 10th Buffalo
1983 Harry Armstrong 5th Winnipeg
1983 Kory Wright 10th Winnipeg
*** Supplemental draft