It was so widely assumed when Ron Hextall was hired as the Pittsburgh Penguins GM earlier this month that it seemed a foregone conclusion. On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins finally named former Hextall assistant GM Chris Pryor as the club’s new Director of Player Personnel.
Pryor, 60, oversaw the amateur drafting under Hextall when the latter was the GM of the Philadelphia Flyers from 2014-18. The pair had inordinate success together and drafted 19 players between 2013-18 who made their NHL debut. And more are on the way.
PHN analyzed Hextall’s record as Flyers GM before his hire. Much of that is with Pryor’s help.
“Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and is a welcome addition to our hockey operations staff,” said Hextall.
As the director of player personnel, Pryor will help oversee the scouting efforts in North America and Europe. He will assist with all player personnel decisions—this Hextall’s first hire since taking the Penguins general manager post on Feb. 9.
Assistant GM Patrik Allvin was in charge of some of those duties. The Penguins website does not list a Director of Amateur Scouting, a position held by Allvin before being promoted to AGM.
UPDATE: Speaking to the media on Saturday morning, Hextall said the Penguins also parted ways with former Director of Player Personnel Derek Clancy. Hextall thanked Clancy for his years of service to the organization.
The Penguins tout Pryor’s 25 years of scouting and managerial experience. He served in various roles with the Philadelphia Flyers from 1999-2019, including amateur scout, director of scouting, and director of player personnel. He also served as one of Hextall’s assistant general managers while with the Flyers from 2016-18.
According to the Penguins press release, Pryor has a proven track record of evaluating talent. Some of his noteworthy draft picks while with the Flyers organization include Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Travis Sanheim, Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, and Carter Hart.
That’s not a bad list.
Pryor got his start in hockey operations with the New York Islanders, serving as an amateur scout and director of player development from 1994-1999 before joining Philadelphia. He has spent the past two seasons as a North American amateur scout with the Nashville Predators.
Pryor played parts of six seasons in the NHL as a defenseman from 1984-90, appearing in 82 games split between the Minnesota North Stars and New York Islanders.