The Penguins had to wait until pick #58 to get their first selection in the 2021 NHL entry draft. They used it on forward Tristan Broz.
Broz had the following pre-draft scouting rankings:
- 43rd: TSN Bob McKenzie consensus list
- 47th: The Athletic big board
- 40th: Smaht Scouting
- 38th: TSN Craig Button
- 49th: Dobber Prospects
- 61st: McKeen Hockey
Smaht scouting reported:
Tristan Broz is certainly an intriguing prospect. He’s capable of playing anywhere up front, but sees the majority of his ice time on the left wing. He plays an excellent two-way game, and can produce effectively in all areas of the ice.
This past season, Broz led Fargo in points, and was definitely a force to be reckoned with on the power-play. In watching Broz’ games, he was a mainstay on the right side half-wall on the power-play, and was incredibly patient waiting out defenders and goalies to pinpoint the perfect time to shoot. It clearly paid off, as Broz scored almost half of his goals with the man advantage.
Broz possesses an incredibly high motor, and isn’t often disengaged from the play around the puck, regardless of which zone. He also has good vision, especially with the puck on his stick. Broz can execute a zone entry, open up his hips to maximize his puck distribution options, and seek out a high danger chance for a teammate.
Corey Pronman from The Athletic, who only had Broz ranked 87th and liked Broz less than most, had this report:
Broz has been a productive USHL player the last two seasons and was an important player for a top USHL team this season in Fargo. His puck game is excellent, showing the ability to create often with his puck skills and playmaking inside the offensive zone. Broz can make a lot of plays to teammates through seams and under pressure. If given time, he also has a great shot and can pick corners from mid-range. He works hard enough, but I wouldn’t call him a “hard to play against” type, and his game could use more pace/quickness. In a sentence, Broz has a chance to make it to the NHL due to his skill and scoring but will need to add speed/physicality to his game to stick.
Scott Wheeler, also from The Athletic, was more of a fan, ranking Broz 45th on his draft list and had these thoughts:
I thought [Broz] was excellent in the USHL playoffs, where he drew a lot of attention, didn’t shy away from it, and made a lot happen when he was on the ice. He’s more than comfortable with the physical side of the game in contested areas but there are times when he can play too passively defensively (he can factor in in a variety of ways when he keeps his feet moving). Offensively, he’s a patient creator who utilizes space extremely well, finds openings, and understands how to pull defenders in so that he can make a play through them into the gaps in coverage they’ve left behind. He can drift to the perimeter in control a little too much but he works so well cross-ice from there that he’s able to put a lot of pucks through to the backdoor. I like his one-timer from the flank on the power play as well (he’s a better goal scorer than his 22 goals this season indicate). I don’t think there’s star power to his game but there’s no question he’s gifted with the puck.
Smaht scouting wraps it up for us:
Overall, Tristan Broz looks to be the style of player who can play an effective, two-way game, and be a key contributor to a team’s secondary scoring options. Broz’ versatility makes him an interesting choice for teams looking to add depth and scoring in their middle six forward corps. As mentioned above, Broz is capable of playing any forward position, but his skillset and talents may be best suited as a winger at the next level.
I had to slow down this clip to really appreciate the vision and patience shown here by Tristan Broz. He’s a special player who is going to start getting the recognition he deserves. #2021NHLDraft #USHL pic.twitter.com/LO7Yn1EjCX— Dylan Krill (@dylan_krill) December 23, 2020
#LetsGoPens select Tristan Broz 58th overall. I ranked him 35th.— Patrick Bacon (@TopDownHockey) July 24, 2021
Top Remaining Forwards:
1. Sasha Pastujov (6th)
2. Alex Suvorov (18th)
3. Ayrton Martino (19th)
Top Remaining Defensemen:
1. Sebastian Jasecko (26th)
2. Jacob Guevin (28th)
3. Sean Behrens (37th) pic.twitter.com/mXWm8LrPeD
Since I like synergy... Penguins select Tristan Broz at No. 58. He was also No. 58 on my list. Late riser after a strong season with Fargo. Really drove play and could take over shifts for the Force. Led them to the Final. Good energy, solid skill.— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) July 24, 2021
58. Pens take LW Tristan Broz. Great pick and this kid is skilled like a Kyle Connor. Top-liner for Fargo. Plays tough too. pic.twitter.com/mNNhefPIeT— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) July 24, 2021
With the No. 58 pick in the 2021 #NHLDraft, the Pittsburgh Penguins select LW Tristan Broz of Fargo. https://t.co/LGy1KshKOD— FCHockey (@FCHockey) July 24, 2021
"A creative and dangerous playmaking winger who can take advantage of the smallest holes in defenders to create high-danger chances through traffic." pic.twitter.com/1ThbT828uj
At first glance, Tristan Broz looks like a promising start for the Penguins under Ron Hextall at the end of the second round. For what is left at 58th overall, Broz is about as good a prospect still on the board at this point.
Broz isn’t a first round pick, so he doesn’t have any dominant features. Most reports highlight that he’s pretty good at many things, but at this point isn’t a stand out player. However, he does appear to have a lot of skill and hands and ability for his tools. The Pens will hope that grows and develops over the years. Broz is committed for the University of Minnesota, a typical high-end program, and will be getting his college career started this fall.