The 2017 NHL Draft has come and gone and the immediate impact felt by the Penguins was a trade on Day 1 on Friday that saw Oskar Sundqvist get dealt to the St. Louis Blues for Ryan Reaves.
Set aside whether or not you think Reaves is a serviceable NHL player. I think, as was pointed out by many last night in the wake of this news, that the Penguins organization are sending a strong message to both the NHL and the rest of the league that they need to protect their stars. Sidney Crosby and Evegni Malkin take massive abuse shift after shift. You don’t need me to rehash for you the games missed by both superstars. Reaves was brought in as a protector and an enforcer, and with the emergence of Carter Rowney at center, made a player like Sundqvist expendable.
I did see some rejoicing from other teams in the AHL Atlantic Division, but as pointed out by Jason Chaimovitch, the Blues don’t have a full time AHL affiliate with Vegas coming into the NHL and scooping up the Chicago Wolves as their primary, so Sundqvist could, hypothetically, land on any AHL team if that is indeed the direction that the Blues take.
That was the big, immediate, news. There were players drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday…
Lauzon played for Rouyn-Noranda last season and was named QMJHL’s best defensive defenseman. The same accolade that Kris Letang won while playing for the QMJHL during his time there.
Phillips is an offensive defenseman who can skate and will head to the University of Minnesota this fall.
Pittsburgh went bang bang at 152 and 155 and selected Jan Drozg and Linus Ölund respectively. Of the two, Ölund is closer to NHL work at age 20. He played in the Swedish leage last year and had a decent season offensively.
And finally, with the last overall pick, Pittsburgh went with….
Another defender who put up 15 points in 35 games during his freshman season at RPI. Reilly was the OJHL’s top prospect in 2015 with the Nanaimo Clippers.
I preferred the recap / live blog that Penguins color man Nick Hart put together during the two day draft which you can check out here.
I will be back this week with the AHL Big Board.