Our annual, 2021 version of the top players under the age of 25 in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.
#21: Chase Yoder, Forward
2020 Ranking: NR
Age: 19 (May 28, 2002)
Height/Weight: 5’ 11”, 174 pounds
Acquired Via: 2020 NHL Draft (Sixth Round — #170)
After being drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the sixth round of the 2020 NHL Draft out of the United States Hockey Development Program, Yoder enrolled at Providence College where he played his freshman season in 2020-21.
In his first collegiate season, Yoder competed in all 25 of the Friars games, registering six total points (3G+3A) across the regular season and in the Hockey East Tournament. His best performance of the season came against eventual NCAA Tournament participant Boston University where Yoder scored two goals.
Yoder posted another two point game in February, recording a goal and assist against Hockey East rival Northeastern.
Providence finished the NCAA hockey season ranked No. 16 in the nation, right on the bubble of making the NCAA tournament. In the end, Yoder and his Friar teammates were left on the outside looking in and his freshman season came to a heartbreaking end.
With a successful freshman season behind him, Providence and the Penguins will hope his development continues as he prepares to enter his sophomore year. Having experience at the collegiate level under his belt, the pressure will be on Yoder to play a more vital role for the Friars this upcoming season.
Before he returns to campus for his sophomore season, Yoder had the opportunity to represent the United States at the international level earlier this summer, pulling on the red, white, and blue for the World Junior Summer Showcase.
Yoder was on Team Blue for the showcase and was in the starting lineups for all four games his team played. In a July 28th contest against Sweden, Yoder recorded two goals in a 5-2 rout of the Swedes. He also added an assist in a 4-2 victory over Sweden a few days prior.
World Junior Summer Showcase: USA Blue beats Sweden 5-2. Two goals each from Matthew Knies (TOR) and Chase Yoder (PIT), one from Chaz Lucius (WPG). Helge Grans (LAK) and Isak Garfve scored for Sweden. 27 saves for Drew Commesso (CHI)— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) July 28, 2021
With the 2022 World Junior Championships less than six months away this performance could go a long way to determining whether or not Yoder will be making an appearance on junior hockey’s biggest stage. Right now, it’s hard to know where Yoder sits among fellow WJC hopefuls for the United States, but showings like that will certainly help his case.
As for where Yoder sits in the eyes of the Penguins and his potential future as a professional, that as well all remains up in the air at the moment. All we know for sure is we won’t be seeing him with the Penguins anytime soon. He’ll get all the time he needs to continue his develop at the NCAA level with Providence where the Penguins will keep a close eye on him for certain.
Given how barren the prospect pool at forward is for the Penguins, the organization will take anything it can get from players like Yoder who will have a prime opportunity to fill a major need for the Penguins in the future should his development continue in a positive direction.
Until that time comes, Yoder will continue his time at Providence, continuing to build his game and hopefully lead the Friars to more success on the ice and maybe even an NCAA tournament berth this coming season. It will also be interesting to see if he can continue to make an impact at the junior level for the United States, perhaps even finding his way to Canada this winter for the WJC tournament.