Today was a big day for the Pittsburgh Penguins as well as the league in general. Though it hasn’t been finalized and announced yet, Kris Letang will be brought back for eight more years. Also, shortly before the draft started, Tyler Kennedy was traded to the San Jose Sharks to put the Penguins into the second round. Here’s how the picks went. When reading this, please know I had to research these guys. I’m not nearly as smart as the guys over at Faceoff Factor.
Second Round: Tristan Jarry, G, Edmonton Oil Kings
This was the pick that the Penguins got for Kennedy and they used it for the 18 year old goaltender. The past two years, Jarry has played backup to former Calgary draft pick Laurent Brossoit. Next year, Jarry should get his shot at being the starter. If he performs in that role nearly as well as he did as a backup, the Pens should be in good shape. Jarry is a butterfly style goaltender who likes to get involved in the game. He has a tendency to leave his net and he loves to play the puck. He’s also considered to be excellent as a backwards skater. While that’s a positive when getting involved on odd man breaks, he also tends to get caught too far back in his crease. Rebound control is also considered another one of his weaknesses.
Third Round: Jake Guentzel, C, Sioux City Musketeers
This guy can only be described as pint sized. I’m bigger than he is. He’s a whopping 5’9″ and 153 pounds. Guentzel isn’t very big or fast but his success to this point has come from being the smartest player on the ice. He has committed to Nebraska-Omaha which is where he will play next season. He has good vision and always knows what his next move is going to be. He also prides himself on backchecking and supporting the puck, two things that the Penguins were pretty deficient at in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Fourth Round: Ryan Segalla, D, Salibury Prep
The scouting report on Segalla pretty much describes everything that the Pens were missing on defense in the playoffs. He’s the captain of his high school team. He plays special teams. He likes to get into the dirty areas and he’s very smart with the puck on his stick. This is another guy that the Pens took because he is a “heady” player. He’s not the most talented but he’s very smart and always makes the right play. He’s committed to play at UConn next year.
Sixth Round: Dane Birks, D, Merritt Centennials
Birks is relatively large at 6’3″ and 190 pounds but the biggest thing for him at this point is learning to play with his size. He had a pretty significant growth spurt over the past year. Birks will be playing at Michigan Tech next year and he adds to an already deep prospect list at the position.
Sixth Round: Blaine Byron, C, Smith Falls Bears
Byron played for the Kemptville 73’s before moving on to the Bears. Like Guentzel, he’s a relatively small forward. He’s been much more of a playmaker than a goal scorer throughout his junior career. He will play for University of Maine next season.
Seventh Round: Troy Josephs, C, St. Michael’s Buzzers
The third center of the draft for the Penguins comes from the OJHL. Josephs is everything that Byron isn’t. He is more of a goal scorer though he has tremendous play making ability on the power play. Next season, Josephs will be playing for Clarkson University.