Over the past few years, the Pittsburgh Penguins have shown a proclivity for drafting mobile defensemen early and often out of the Canadian major junior leagues. That philosophy has shifted in the last two years however, and the organization now has focused on replenishing their goaltending and forward ranks.
The Pittsburgh Penguins front office has shown a preference for selecting mobile, puck-moving defensemen early and often in the NHL Draft. The organization believes puck-moving defensemen hold premium value in the NHL, and by having several with very high pedigree, they are in a position of strength.
Below is the list of all players taken in the NHL Draft that have committed (verbally or otherwise) to NCAA teams as of June 30th. An Asterisk (*) indicates that the player has signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) that has been verified. Please note that Ivy League schools (Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton and Yale) do not accept NLI's. Unless otherwise indicated, all players will play in the NCAA this fall. This list does not include players that played in the NCAA in 2012-13.
The Pittsburgh Penguins were expected to make some noise at the 2013 NHL Draft. Heading into the draft weekend, the organization was having difficulties signing star defenseman Kris Letang to a long-term deal, creating speculation that the organization might try to shop him for a high draft pick.