As expected, the Penguins received no movement due to the events of the NHL draft lottery tonight. Pittsburgh will hold tight and take their placement where they finished at 14th overall.
The NHL entry draft starts on June 28th from Nashville.
Here is Bob McKenzie’s mid-season prospect ranking from TSN for a very first teaser of some names who could be around when it’s the Pens’ turn to pick:
By all accounts, 2023 is considered to be is an extremely forward-heavy draft in the first round this year, so if anyone likes a defender and reaches to grab one (likely possible, since when is the last time the first 13 picks were all forwards?) that would mean Pittsburgh would be able to select an even higher forward on this list.
In the coming weeks we will have spotlights on the pros and cons of selected prospects as we zero into what could happen. From our previews, it made a lot of sense why the Pens and Ron Hxtall would like Owen Pickering, who ended up being their pick. Of course, the Pens need a GM and working hockey operations department first, which could make their decisions more difficult to predict this time around.
First things first, it took a lottery draft to determine the exact spot. It was only slim odds that the Pens would move up this year, but after winning in 2005, Pittsburgh can still consider it even.