Pens 1st Four Selections

By Richard A. Plisco
On Day One of the 2001 Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins managed to stear clear of Europe and selected three Canadians and one American youngster.
The Pens selected Colby Armstrong in round 1, 21 overall. (Many speculated that they would target Czech’s Hemsky or Krajicek, who went 13 and 24 respectively in round one) Armstrong, a native of Lloydminster, Saskatoon played for Red Deer of the WHL in 2000/01. He is 6’1″ 180lbs. and plays the right wing.
Round 2 saw the focus shift to defense. Noah Welch was picked 54 overall. The 6’3″ 212lbs. defender hails from Brighton, Mass. and played for St. Sebastians high school last season.
Round three selections included defenseman Drew Fata, the 86 pick, from Sault St. Marie, Ontario. Fata, at 6’1″ 211lbs. skated for Tor.St. Michaels in the OHL. Picked 96 overall in round three was blue-liner Alexander Rouleau from Mont-Laurier, Quebec. Roleau, at 6’0 180lbs. suited up for Val D’or of the QMJHL this past campaign.
The Penguins confined their first four selections (of nine this year) to North Americans. They made no moves to secure a higher first round slot with a trade and in fact, Jaromir Jagr was allowed to begin his vacation in the Czech Republic. This leads many to believe that the Jagr trade will not materialize this weekend.
The Pens put an early emphasis on restocking their stable of defenseman, leading to speculation that several current prospects may see big league action sooner than later. RW Armstrong is expected to bring a little grit to the forward position.