At first glance, it looks like a weak draft this year, especially when you consider how incredible the most recent two have been. Don’t get me wrong, Nolan Patrick has the potential to be a franchise player, and Nico Hischier is pretty damn good too. Plus, I’ve always been a believer that you never really know how good or bad a draft is until several years after. Who knows, there could be future hall of famers scattered throughout the later rounds that scouts never picked up on.
As a Penguins fan, draft days rarely interest me in the traditional way. It’s actually shocking when we have a first round pick to use. I love draft days because all of the GMs get together, and that, of course, means lots of trades.
The Penguins own the first 31st overall pick in the league’s history and that’s pretty cool.
It’s also pretty likely that the player available at 31 won’t be much help to the Penguins right away. I would be very okay with the Penguins packaging their first round pick with some assets to acquire another top-end player. Ideally, I’d love the Penguins to get someone like Tyson Barrie.
Anyone that thinks the Penguins did “just fine” without Kris Letang wasn’t watching very closely. Sure, the Penguins won the Cup, but they were so talented up front that they won the Cup in spite of their defense.
Kris Letang, Justin Schultz, Tyson Barrie.
That is a dream trio of right-handed defensemen to me.
I don’t know what Jim Rutherford has up his sleeve but expect him to make a trade at some point. He said just the other day that he anticipated to be very active and there are a lot of good players available and a lot of bad GMs to take advantage of.