Photo: Swedish forward Oskar Sundqvist brings a rare blend of size, skill, and grit to the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. Sundqvist was picked in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Penguins rarely drafted out of Europe under former general manager Ray Shero. Nor did they draft many forwards with size. So when Shero and company selected a big-bodied, little known Swedish center named Oskar Sundqvist in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft, there was naturally some intrigue.
Photo: Defenseman Derrick Pouliot remains the top player in the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect pool. Pouliot was selected eighth overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Penguins began a new era in the 2014 offseason. They have a new general manager in Jim Rutherford, a new head coach in Mike Johnston, and a deeper group of forwards – at the NHL level and throughout the system – than the organization has seen in quite a while.
Photo: Forward Dominik Uher is one of several Pittsburgh Penguins prospects who is vying for an NHL roster spot out of training camp. Uher spent the last two seasons playing for the Penguins AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
The Pittsburgh Penguins head into the 2014-15 season with an incomplete NHL roster, and while some of that could change from now to start of the season, the organization seems content to let their prospects battle for whatever remaining spots there might be.
Photo: Finnish Forward Kasperi Kapanen was selected 22nd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Kapanen was one of the top-rated European skaters heading into the 2014 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Penguins stole a lot of headlines on day one of the 2014 NHL Draft, trading star sniper James Neal to the Nashville Predators for forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling, then picking forward Kasperi Kapanen at the 22nd overall spot.
Photo: The Buffalo Sabres added to their already deep draft pool with nine selections at the 2014 NHL Draft, including first round pick Sam Reinhart (L) and second round selection Brandon Lemieux (R) (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The NHL's Western Conference currently has the bragging rights to league supremacy as a a result of the Los Angeles Kings five-game Stanley Cup final win over the New York Rangers. While the results from the 2014 NHL Draft may not alter the current lock the West has on the NHL's most prized trophy, at least one team in the Eastern Conference might be offering a ray of hope for the future.