The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed their fifth round pick from 2017 to an entry-level contract in Jan Drozg.
From the team release:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Jan Drozg to a three-year, entry-level contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The contract will begin when Drozg turns pro next season in 2019-20.
Drozg, 19, has played the past two seasons with the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. This year, the forward leads his team in scoring 53 points (19G-34A) in 54 games. He has established career highs in all three categories. In his two seasons with Shawinigan, Drozg has totaled 35 goals, 68 assists and 103 points in 115 games.
The 6-foot-2, 174-pound, right-handed shooting Drozg played one game for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last season, recording an assist on Jarrett Burton’s goal during a 3-2 win at Hersey on April 15, 2018.
Earlier this season, the Maribor, Slovenia native starred for Slovenia at the 2019 Division 1-B World Junior Championship. Not only did he lead his country to a gold medal, but he was named the tournament’s Best Forward after leading all skaters in both assists (8) and points (12) in five games. Drozg was also named one of Slovenia’s Top-Three Players.
Drozg appeared in our Pensburgh Top 25 Under 25 last summer as the 21st best young player in the system.
Drozg had long succeeded as a “big fish in a little pond,” and, as mentioned above, he was a big time difference maker for Slovenia. His junior team, Shawinigan, has long been dregs of the QMJHL without much support with quality of teammates. But he does lead them in points and is doing well at that level. He has had quite the journey already from Slovenia to Sweden to Quebec, and now his journey will continue in the Pens’ organization.
However, starting next year, the big fish in a small pond trend ends. Drozg figures to start in the American Hockey League, where he’ll surely have quality players surrounding him and a big step up in competition from the junior days.