Wrapping up our Pittsburgh Penguins prospects list, we saved the top of the list for the final installment. In the last few seasons, the list was a painstaking, if not painfully barren, scouring for players who might crack the NHL roster, if only for brief moments or limited contributions.
The Penguins didn’t have a first-round pick between 2014 and 2019. Even 2018 second-rounder Calen Addison was part of the Penguins trade for Jason Zucker, and 2014 first-rounder Kasperi Kapanen was a centerpiece in the Penguins trade for Phil Kessel in 2015.
We’ll debate the merits of those trades another day, but the results were not only Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 but a string of four-straight opening-round losses (including the 2020 play-in loss to the Montreal Canadiens) and the playoff miss in 2023.
Penguins Prospect Rankings 11-15: The Dark Horses & the Falling
Penguins Prospect Rankings 6-10: Who Has a Real Chance?
The Penguins had two straight drafts with first-rounders in 2022 and 2023, which bolsters the prospects list, even if we have some questions about the talents selected.
Below, the NHL Odds are the chances the player will reach the NHL, though not necessarily this season. The Impact odds are the chances the players will become a consistent presence on the NHL roster.
Pittsburgh Penguins Prospect Rankings: 1-5