We're doing this whole mock draft thingymabob here on SBN Hockey. You may have seen it.
Anyways, to spare ourselves as being the one team not included in the network-wide fun, myself, Hooks and GoPens! shared a quick e-mail to discuss Pittsburgh's potential targets.
First off, we narrowed it down by position. The Penguins drafted Simon Despres last season. They have a few good, young defensemen already on the blue line in Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski. Should they consider going after a defenseman? We agreed on "no."
Marc-Andre Fleury is locked up until the end of the 2014-15 season. While everyone and their mother may very well be on his case day in and day out during that span, we also decided that "no" was the proper response regarding whether or not the Penguins would be considering a goaltender.
So, that narrowed it down to forwards. Crosby, Staal, Malkin - no, the Penguins don't need a center.
By process of elimination, if you haven't concluded it already on your own, we decided the best place for the Penguins to look in the first round of the draft is at the winger position.
GoPens! touched on the first round considerations earlier this week, and did one hell of a job at it to boot. Definitely check that out for a comprehensive list of some players who may be on the Penguins' radar.
Now, with that said, on to the mock pick.
We agreed that the Penguins, given the 20th pick, the likeliness of him dropping and the whole mentality of "pick the best player available," that John McFarland from the OHL's Sudbury Wolves is a great pick. Over the years (and by that we mean, his obvious growing years), McFarland has garnered comparisons to a grittier Nik Zherdev (vomit) and Chris Kunitz (tolerable). In 2008, there were talks of him possibly being the number one pick in this upcoming class but there's a sense of wonderment as to why or how he fell off that track so fast. I don't think there is any reason for concern though, mainly because I feel the Pens can really make a steal with this pick if McFarland does drop to the 20th pick. Perhaps the issues resided in a lack of focus or distractions off the ice, but I'm going to chalk it up as being McFarland's boredom due to a lack of competition, if only because it helps justify our pick.
If you're really big into the whole prospect scene, I'd love to here your input on the selection. If you think the Pens should look elsewhere, you're of course welcome to disagree with us and toss in your two cents as well.