The Penguins added a draft pick by trading away a Jim Rutherford-era pick and getting a sixth rounder in 2022.
Liam Gorman was a sixth round pick by the Pens in 2018. He’s played two seasons at Princeton, and missed another year when the Ivy league school didn’t play during the pandemic in 2020-21. Last year Gorman only scored three goals and added three assists for the Tigers in 28 games. (He’s a forward). Overall he only has four NCAA goals in 59 games and just turned 22-years old.
With that development stalled, the Pens move onto nab an extra pick. They selected a raw 6’3 right-handed defender from Sudbury in the OHL, Nolan Collins.
Here’s some info from the Sudbury Star:
“We were excited about Nolan right from the start,” Duncanson said. “He can skate, he can handle the puck and he has evolved into a very solid defenceman. I think he’s going to be an absolute monster by the time he’s done here in the league. Darryl uses him regularly against the other teams’ best lines and not a lot of 17-year-old defencemen do that, but he’s doing it quite well.”
That was the hope of general manager Rob Papineau when he made Collins the 88th-overall pick in the 2020 draft, after selecting Goyette in the first round, Delic in the second and Konyen in the fourth.
“OHL Central Scouting had him rated all year as a AA prospect, so that suggested they had him as a top-40 pick in that draft,” Papineau recalled. “Some of those guys, you get lucky with and you get them a couple of rounds later, and that was the case with Nolan.
“He’s 6-3, 190 pounds, but what I really like about Nolan and how I think his game really translates to the next level is he’s a really good skater, a deceptive skater and he’s got good speed, and he’s also very intelligent. You watch the way he lifts the guy’s stick just before he gets the puck. He’s hard to forecheck against, because he’s got a lot of natural deception in his game and he’s able to skate and to get out of trouble. He doesn’t get beaten too often one on one and he’s physical, he’s got that other element in his game and he’s tough to play against, not the kind of guy who will back down from anybody.”
The Pens need size and this could be a defensive defender (he only had four goals and 18 points in the OHL) that is playing top competition already and sounds to be a passable skater.
Not bad to get younger and get a refresh from the Gorman pick that didn’t look like it was going anywhere fast.