Following a disappointing exit in the third round of the NHL playoffs, the Pittsburgh Penguins head into the 2013 NHL Draft as a team in need of minor roster re-tooling. The franchise traded their first, second, and fifth round picks in order to acquire rental players Jarome Iginla, Doug Murray, and Brendan Morrow, and consequentially will not have a selection until the third round.
If the old adage that says success breeds more success is correct, then the future for the Pittsburgh Penguins appears quite bright. The organization has many players who went the distance in their respective post-seasons, including three who competed for a Memorial Cup, two who played in the NCAA Frozen Four, and roughly a dozen more currently competing in the NHL and AHL playoffs.
With five of the past six first-overall NHL draft picks being forwards from the Ontario Hockey League, OHL defensemen have had a lot of practice playing against elite offensive talent. And that’s reflected in the continued development of these 10 promising young NHL-drafted defensemen.
With the NHL salary cap scheduled to go down by almost 6 million dollars in the 2013-14 season, the Pittsburgh Penguins appear to have positioned themselves well for the short and long-term future. Many of their top prospects are either playing in the NHL or knocking on the door, and given the typically affordable salaries young players make, the organization should have plenty of room to retain several star players who will be up for contract in the coming years.