The Pittsburgh Penguins will approach the 2018 NHL Draft next week in Dallas without a first-round draft choice and without ready-made defensive prospects ready to hit NHL ice. The Penguins first selection will be in the second round, 53rd overall. Even among scouts, there can be little consensus around players. Surprises will abound. With the help of the Red Line Report and chief scout Kyle Woodlief, Pittsburgh Hockey Now will look at several potential picks, mostly defensemen.
Defenseman Slava Demin, 18, could be on the board when the Penguins hit the podium on Day 2. Demin was born in California, but his family moved to British Columbia when he was 16-years-old so Demin could pursue his hockey dreams. His ranking ranges from the mid-second round to mid-third round. His name has also begun to appear on several hidden gems lists.
“He’s got as good of instincts in the defensive zone as you could possibly imagine,” said Woodlief. “He’s not as advanced on the offensive side but I think he’s got more offense in him than he’s shown so far.”