Due to the NHL’s rules for determining draft picks, the final order for the draft isn’t set until the final four teams are known. The San Jose Sharks join the St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, and Carolina Hurricanes, we know where the Pittsburgh Penguins, and everyone else up to the last four will make their selections during the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
1st Round: 21st overall
Hooray, a first round pick for the first time since 2014! Well, maybe. This will be a very important decision for the organization, whether they keep the pick and select a prospect who ideally could develop into an NHL player within two or three years or decide to continue burning the boats and deal this pick for an immediate asset that would upgrade the team immediately.
2nd Round: none
Due to the trade with Florida in February that brought Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad to Pittsburgh, the Pens had to surrender this pick (which turned out to be 53rd overall).
3rd Round: none
The Pens shipped this pick to Ottawa back in February 2018 as part of the deal that sent Derick Brassard to Pittsburgh.
4th Round: 98th overall
Thanks to last summer’s trade that sent Conor Sheary and Matt Hunwick to Buffalo, Pittsburgh gets this pick which is the fifth pick in the fourth round. Pittsburgh has done fairly well in mid-round picks lately and while this will end up being a very developmental and long-range prospect, it’s still a prospect for the future.
Pittsburgh traded their normal fourth round pick to Florida, also in the Bjugstad/McCann trade.
5th Round: 145th overall
Pittsburgh has their normal pick in this round. This is about the time in the draft where the Pens look into taking an over-age player, to continue an organizational philosophy that has recently brought in players like Dominik Simon and Justin Almeida —both drafted in the fifth round— to the team.
6th Round: none
The Pens’ pick in this round (#176 overall) went to Arizona back in December 2017 in the trade that sent Josh Archibald to the Coyotes. In that deal the Pens upgraded this pick in the sixth round to an extra 2019 fourth round pick, which they also sent to Florida in the McCann/Bjugstad trade.
7th Round: 203rd and 207th overall
Pittsburgh has an extra pick (#203 overall) because they swung a trade last year with Vegas where Vegas wanted an extra pick in 2018 in the seventh round and gave up this pick to do so. Guess Vegas really wanted to draft goalie Jordan Kooy last year. Anyways so now the Pens have this pick and their own (#207) this season.
Overall it’s not that impressive of a draft haul with just two picks in the first four rounds and just one pick in the first 90 overall; thanks mainly to the Florida trade that sent three draft picks from Pittsburgh down south.
There are rumors swirling that current key NHL players might be traded to add draft picks, so that more than anything for Pens’ fans will be what to keep an eye on.