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2019 NHL Draft: Penguins trade up to select Nathan Legare in third round

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Pittsburgh adds to the organization with their second pick of the 2019 draft

2019 NHL Draft - Round 2-7 Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Penguins moved up to pick #74 to make their second selection of the 2019 NHL Draft due to various trades. The team took left wing Samuel Polin in the first round on Friday night, and in the fourth round they shifted gears to make a move and go up.

They obviously must have seen a player they like that fell a bit, and that player was right wing Nathan Legare.

Legare is a big shot. He scored 45 goals this year in the Q.

Our friends at All About The Jersey scouted him as such:

Nathan Legare is a big right-winger out of the QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Born in Montreal on January 11, 2001, Legare is middle-of-the-road in age among first-year draft-eligible players. He checks in a 6’-0”, putting him mid-range in height, but with a weight of 205, he has a fairly bruising frame and certainly plays “big.” Legare, like many players of French-Canadian origin, made his way through the junior ranks in Quebec, advancing through the Quebec bantam and midget leagues before arriving in the QMJHL in 2017-18.

Legare had a strong rookie season as a 16/17 year-old, being a significant contributor for Baie-Comeau with 10 goals and 19 assists in 62 games. This past season represented a major leap for the young forward, though, as he exploded with 45 goals and 42 assists in 68 games. His 87 points checked in at eighth overall in the QMJHL and second among draft-eligible U-18s. His 45 goals are particularly impressive, coming in second in the league overall and comfortably first among U-18s. He also had some moderate success at international tournaments, including four goals in seven games at the U-18 WJC (good for a tie for third on team Canada), though he also went without an assist. His overall stats from Elite Prospects are in the screencap below and his page can be found at this link.

This is sort of in-line with the first round pick of Poulin to add a big framed player (both are already 205+ pounds at a young age), neither are the best skaters but both have some decent hands and puck skills.

It’s easy to see why the Penguins wanted to trade a few picks to move up and select him, as Legare was ranked much higher than 74th overall by many of the scouts out there:

Due to this trade, the Pens only have two more choices left in the entire draft. They’ll pick in the fifth round (145 overall) and again in the seventh (203) to add to the mix and finish out the draft.

They no doubt traded some quantity for what they hope will be a quality mid-round find in Legare.