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Penguins sign first round pick Owen Pickering

Entry level contract to begin when he turns pro

2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced on Saturday that they have signed 2022 first round pick Owen Pickering to an entry level contract.

From the team:

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed their 2022 first-round pick, defenseman Owen Pickering, to a three-year, entry-level contract, it was announced today by general manager Ron Hextall.

Pickering’s entry-level contract will begin when he turns professional.

The 18-year old was selected by the Penguins in the first round (21st overall) of the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal, QC. He recently attended the Penguins’ development camp from July 10-14.

The 6-foot-4, 180-pound defenseman spent the last two seasons with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League, accumulating 11 goals and 42 points in 85 career WHL games. During the 2021-22, season, Pickering set career highs in goals (9), assists (24) and points (33) in 62 games and was named to the WHL (Central) Second All-Star Team.

The St. Adolphe, Manitoba native represented Team Canada at the 2022 World Under-18 Junior Championship, appearing in four games and notching two assists.

Pickering just completed a whirlwind 10 days with the draft in Montreal and then checking out Pittsburgh and going through prospect camp with the Penguins last week. In a shallow pool, he certainly stood out as one of the best players on the ice with his size and skating ability.

Pickering is seen as a somewhat raw player that is not expected to make a serious run at an NHL roster spot this season, therefore he will have to be assigned back to his junior hockey club in the WHL for 2022-23. When he is ready to turn pro, this three-year entry level contract will begin.

Until then, the Pens will be happy to chart the growth and progress of a very promising youngster at the lower levels.