The Pittsburgh Penguins have long stood by the practice of drafting NCAA-bound players in the later rounds of the NHL draft, regardless if it was under former GM Ray Shero or current GM Jim Rutherford. The rationale was simple, NHL teams own the rights to collegiate prospects for four years, while they only own the rights to major junior players for two years. This not only allows smaller or less talented players to develop at a slower pace but also gives the organization two more years to evaluate the player before making a financial commitment to them. Read more»
Due to a series of graduations, trades, and lackluster player development over the past few years, the Pittsburgh Penguins have a relatively depleted pool of prospects. There are several players with high-end potential, most notably 2015 second-round pick Daniel Sprong, who opened the 2015-16 season on the Penguins NHL roster. Otherwise, the Penguins system is predominantly made up of players who project as either depth guys in the NHL or career minor-leaguers. Read more»
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.
The 2014-15 season in the WCHA gets fully underway this weekend. Ferris State University was the 2013-14 regular season conference champion, while Minnesota State-Mankato was the winner in the WCHA Final Five tournament. The former was previewed in part one of the Hockey’s Future 2014-15 WCHA preview, while the latter is being previewed here in part two of this NCAA conference preview. Read more»