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Penguins Sign Pickering, New Prospects for WBS Playoffs

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Owen Pickering, Pittsburgh penguins prospects

The Pittsburgh Penguins are stacking the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins roster with prospects and recent draft picks, including the recently acquired Ville Koivunen and 2022 first-round draft pick Owen Pickering.

It will be Koivunen’s second appearance in North America. He played 12 games last season for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.

The WBS Penguins of the AHL added defensemen Pickering and Emil Pieniniemi and forwards Koivunen and Cooper Foster to their roster ahead of the team’s best-of-three series against the Lehigh Valley Phantom, which begins Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Read more: Penguins Draft Polarizing Defenseman in 3rd Round.

The Pittsburgh Penguins assigned Pickering to WBS from the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL. The others signed amateur tryout agreements.

Pickering, 20, 21st overall pick in 2022, got a taste of professional hockey last season. He played eight games with WBS but did not record a point.

Read more: PHN scouted Pickering with WBS last season.

Pickering led Swift Current defensemen in assists (39) and points (46) this season and has done so three seasons running.

Pittsburgh acquired Koivunen, 20, as one of three prospects in the Jake Guentzel trade from the Carolina Hurricanes. Koivunen was a primary contributor for Karpat of the Finnish Elite League, scoring 22 goals and registering 56 points in 59 games. He was second on the team in goals and points while leading them in assists (34).

Koivunen was a second-round pick (51st overall) in 2021 by Carolina.

Since Christmas, Koivunen led the Finnish league in points. He notched 32 points with 12 goals in 27 games, since the holiday.

Pieniniemi was the Penguins’ third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft (91st overall) and a rookie this season for Karpat. He scored six points (2-4-6) in 38 games as a rookie. He appeared in nine playoff games but did not register a point.

Foster, 18, was the Penguins’ sixth-round selection (174th overall) by the Penguins in the 2023 NHL Draft. He had 21 goals and 31 assists for 52 points in 59 games.