It’s hard to keep track of with all the movement, so here are the picks the Pittsburgh Penguins have in next month’s NHL entry draft. We know the first time the Pens will pick, which is 2nd round pick and 53rd overall due to their playoff elimination.
- PIT 2nd round (53rd overall)
- OTT 3rd round (64th overall) *acquired in Derick Brassard trade
- DET 5th round (129th overall) *acquired in Riley Sheahan trade
- PIT 5th round (146th overall)
- PIT 6th round (177th overall)
- PIT 7th round (208th overall)
The Pens don’t have their 1st round pick (22nd overall, Brassard trade), their 3rd rounder (sent to DET for Sheahan) but at least did recoup some picks later on. The pick from Ottawa will be the second pick of the 3rd round, 64th overall. Similarly the Detroit pick is high in the 5th round.
Pittsburgh’s 4th rounder this year was sent to Tampa in 2017 to acquire Mark Streit.
This year’s pick situation is similar to what Pittsburgh had in 2016, when the Pens didn’t pick until 55th (the since traded to Ottawa goalie Filip Gustavsson) and 61st (forward Kasper Bjorkqvist, currently playing at Providence and coming along pretty well). That year Pittsburgh was also able to acquire a 3rd round pick (77th overall) on draft weekend to send Beau Bennett to New Jersey. Will they make another trade on draft day? Wouldn’t be terribly shocking.
A lot of general manager Jim Rutherford’s draft picks have been unconventional per the standard pre-draft rankings. Their 2017 second round draft pick at #51 was defenseman Zachary Lauzon that wasn’t expected to be such a high pick by drafting and scouting services, though NHL teams like Montreal favored him too.
So who knows what will happen with their picks. In recent years the 2nd and 3rd round have been favorable to the Pens finding names like Bryan Rust (80th in 2010), Matt Murray (83rd in 2012), Jake Guentzel (77th in 2013) and Daniel Sprong (46th in 2015). Despite this success, it’s always an uphill battle to get a future impact NHL player this deep into the draft. But you never know which prospects may blossom. The Pens probably won’t add anyone next month that will be impressive next month, but hopefully they can find someone who can be helpful years down the line.