In two weeks, the Pittsburgh Penguins are scheduled to pick 14th in an NHL draft for just the second time in franchise history.
They surely hope this one works out better than the first, when they claimed Regina right winger Ron Snell in 1968.
Snell put up three goals and two assists in seven games over two seasons for them before moving on to the Central and American leagues prior to a two-year stint with Winnipeg in the World Hockey Association.
Scouting has evolved and progressed a lot since then, and players selected that early don’t wash out as often as some did a few decades ago, but there still are no guarantees with almost any prospect.
That certainly is true of players chosen 14th overall, as this rundown of the past dozen players chosen in that slot illustrates:
Winnipeg — Rutger McGroarty. Right wing. 6-foot-1, 200 pounds.
2022-23 — Eighteen goals, 21 assists in 39 games at University of Michigan.
Scouting report — Skilled and uses his size effectively, but his skating must improve.
Buffalo — Isak Rosen. Right wing. 5-foot-11, 158 pounds.
2022-23 — Fourteen goals, 23 assists in 66 games with Rochester (American Hockey League).
Scouting report — Although talented and plays bigger than he is, must get stronger to be effective in the NHL.
Edmonton — Dylan Holloway. Left wing. 6-foot-1, 203 pounds.
2022-23 — Three goals, six assists in 51 games with Edmonton.
Scouting report — Lacks truly high-end skill, but is versatile enough to handle almost any role up front.
Still available — Dawson Mercer, Braden Schneider, Yegor Chinakhov.
Philadelphia — Cam York. Defense. 5-foot-11, 175 pounds.
2022-23 — Two goals, 18 assists in 54 games with Philadelphia.
Scouting report — Good skater with offensive ability who needs to add muscle to his game.
Still available — Cole Caufield, Peyton Krebs, Alex Newhook.
Philadelphia — Joel Farabee. Left wing. 6 foot, 183 pounds.
2022-23 — Fifteen goals, 24 assists in 82 games with Philadelphia.
Scouting report — Speedy and skilled, but would benefit from getting stronger.
Still available — K’Andre Miller, Isac Lundestrom, Rasmus Sandin.
Tampa Bay — Cal Foote. Defense. 6-foot-5, 224 pounds.
2022-23 — Two goals, five assists in 50 games with Tampa Bay and Nashville.
Scouting report — Capable defenseman who isn’t as physical as he could be.
Still available — Robert Thomas, Filip Chytil, Jason Robertson.
Boston — Charlie McAvoy. Defense. 6-foot-1, 209 pounds.
2022-23 — Seven goals, 45 assists in 67 games with Boston.
Scouting report — A reliable contributor at both ends of the ice, and maybe the best player on this list.
Still available — Tage Thompson, Jakob Chychrun, Alex DeBrincat.
Boston — Jake DeBrusk. Left wing. 6-foot, 197 pounds.
2022-23 — Twenty-seven goals, 23 assists in 67 games with Boston.
Scouting report — Finally seems to be reaching his considerable promise after sputtering through his early seasons in the NHL.
Still available — Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor, Travis Konecny.
Dallas — Julius Honka. Defense. 5-foot-11, 185 pounds.
2022-23 — Twelve goals, 15 assists in 46 games with Lulea HC in Sweden.
Scouting report — Hasn’t played in the NHL since 2019 and isn’t expected to return.
Still available — David Pastrnak, Dylan Larkin, Alex Tuch.
Columbus — Alexander Wennberg. Center. 6-foot-2, 190 pounds.
2022-23 — Thirteen goals, 25 assists in 82 games with Seattle.
Scouting report — Capable two-way center who hasn’t lived up to his offensive potential.
Still available — Shea Thedore, Ryan Pulock, Tyler Bertuzzi.
Buffalo — Zemgus Girgensons. Left wing. 6-foot-2, 200 pounds.
2022-23 — Ten goals, eight assists in 80 games with Buffalo.
Scouting report — Has not had the impact expected of a player with his size and skill.
Still available — Tom Wilson, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tomas Hertl.
Dallas — Jamie Oleksiak. Defense. 6-foot-7, 257 pounds.
2022-23 — Nine goals, 16 assists in 75 games with Seattle.
Scouting report — A towering presence on defense who plays every bit as big as he is.
Still available — J.T. Miller, Rickard Rakell, John Gibson.