The Pittsburgh Penguins kept their second-round pick that President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke said was off-limits. The Penguins’ new regime led by GM Ron Hextall with new Director of Player Personnel Chris Pryor, who are known to dip into the USHL to find talent outside the first round of the NHL Draft, did just that on Saturday afternoon in Round 2.
The Penguins selected LW Tristan Broz from Fargo of the USHL. Broz’s draft grades varied wildly. Some services, including ISS rated him as a late first-round pick. Most services had him in the 30s or 40s, but the Pittsburgh Penguins selected him with the 58th overall pick.
Broz, 18, led the Fargo Force in points with 51, including 19 goals in 54 games. In 2019-20, he scored 35 points, including 14 assists, in 48 games.
“Broz possesses an incredibly high motor and isn’t often disengaged from the play around the puck, regardless of which zone. He also has good vision, especially with the puck on his stick. Broz can execute a zone entry, open up his hips to maximize his puck distribution options, and seek out a high danger chance for a teammate.”
I had to slow down this clip to really appreciate the vision and patience shown here by Tristan Broz. He’s a special player who is going to start getting the recognition he deserves. #2021NHLDraft #USHL pic.twitter.com/LO7Yn1EjCX
— Dylan Krill (@dylan_krill) December 23, 2020
The winger is not a large player but has adequate size at 6-foot, 179 pounds.
“Arguably the most impressive aspect of Broz’s complete game is his skill in the offensive zone. In his three seasons with the Force, Broz has racked up impressive numbers with Fargo. Points aside, he’s also quite a talented passer of the puck,” Smaht Scout Paul Zuk wrote.
Broz committed to the University of Minnesota for the fall. He’ll be able to develop there for several years before the Pittsburgh Penguins must sign him to an ELC or lose his rights, much like the situation which netted John Marino.
The Penguins did pass on several players who fell to them at No. 58, including Swedish LW Simon Robertsson, who carried a first-round grade from all major scouting services.