The Pittsburgh Penguins have had only one first-round pick in the last six drafts (Kasperi Kapanen in 2014), and even he was traded before playing a single game with the team. Mind you, it was a small price to pay to win back-to-back Stanley Cups, but the prospect cupboard needs to be stocked up.
This year, barring a trade, the Penguins have the 21st pick in the draft. This is a slot where teams can realistically hope for a future third-liner or #4 defenseman. Let’s explore who can be available and what the Penguins could do with the pick.
Simon Boisvert is a former QMJHL scout and currently a team consultant. PHN contracted the hockey insider to share his analysis of the players who may be available for the Penguins with the 21st pick. We found his professional analysis to be enlightening and interesting. Enjoy!
They could trade up or down, but I won’t spend too much time analyzing the possibility of a trade because this is purely speculative. However, if Peyton Krebs is still around at number 10 or 11, it would be worth giving up an asset to draft him. Krebs, my favourite player in the draft after Kaapo Kakko and Jack Hughes, is highly skilled and has strong leadership qualities.
The obvious thing to do would be to choose the best player available, regardless of the position. Most top forwards will be gone by then, so it’s very possible director of amateur scouting Patrick Allvin could set his sights on a blueliner.