The Pittsburgh Penguins have a scant group of prospects playing at the Canadian major junior and junior-A levels of hockey. For a variety of reasons, the Penguins organization drafted only two players from the CHL over the past two seasons and has only one player currently playing in the USHL.
When Jim Rutherford took over the general manager job for the Pittsburgh Penguins last June, he inherited an organization that was shallow at forward, from the NHL level all the way through the prospect rankings. Rutherford did not take long to address the problem, first picking four forwards in the 2014 NHL Draft, then augmenting the Penguins NHL roster with several talented veteran players.
It came as little surprise that USHL prospects once again dotted the seven rounds of the NHL Draft last month in Philadelphia. A total of 18 players were taken from the United States’ top developmental league (excluding the NTDP players), with only one of them being a goalie. Of the remaining 17 players, 13 were forwards. Ironically, the Midwest archrivals Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues each selected three USHL players, more than any other team. Read more»