Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Dominik Simon - Evgeni Malkin - Kasperi Kapanen
Teddy Blueger - Jordan Staal - Josh Archibald
Tom Kuhnhackl - Oskar Sundqvist - Daniel Sprong
Reserves: Scott Wilson, Beau Bennett
Jake Muzzin / Kris Letang
Olli Maatta / Alex Goligoski
Scott Harrington / Robert Bortuzzo
Reserves: Derrick Pouliot
Well you can see why Jordan Staal wanted out of Pittsburgh, not too much winger talent has been drafted by the team over the years. You can mitigate that easily with trades (hi Phil Kessel and Patric Hornqvist and even Conor Sheary) or free agent signings, so it’s not the end of the world. But it does speak to an organizational weakness that besides Guentzel, Pittsburgh really hasn’t developed a lot on the wings.
Good thing the team hasn’t had two generational forwards they need to find linemates for or anything.
On defense, well, Ray Shero’s big strategy of drafting a ton of playmaking defensemen didn’t really pay off in NHL assets. Former first rounders like Simon Despres, Joe Morrow, Derrick Pouliot have all flamed out or are on the fringes of the NHL, many bouncing around and falling out of multiple organizations.
Oh well, at least we can reclaim Muzzin (a Pens draft pick who didn’t want to sign with them). And I’m sure many will be happy with the returned goalie situation of getting Fleury back!
What do we think of this team - make the playoffs? Win a round or two? Go all the way?