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.
This season, Hockey East features 50 NHL prospects representing all the member schools. Notre Dame leads all Hockey East teams with 10 prospects, followed by Boston College with nine and Boston University with seven. Meanwhile, the University of Connecticut makes their Hockey East debut this season, bringing the number of member schools to 12. Read more»
It is not as if they try to hide it. The Pittsburgh Penguins like to select college prospects in the NHL Draft, especially in the middle and later rounds. The organization has deep ties to USA Hockey and the NCAA and believes the college hockey developmental route offers several unique advantages.
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.