Home MLB “Penguins’ Draft Picks Making Waves in NHL: Success Beyond Pittsburgh”

“Penguins’ Draft Picks Making Waves in NHL: Success Beyond Pittsburgh”

“Penguins’ Draft Picks Making Waves in NHL: Success Beyond Pittsburgh”

Success of Penguins’ Draft Picks Beyond Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Penguins have a long history of drafting and developing talented players who go on to find success in the NHL. While some players have become stars in Pittsburgh, others have found success elsewhere in the league. Let’s take a closer look at some of the Penguins’ draft picks who have made a name for themselves beyond the Steel City.

1. Marc-Andre Fleury:
Selected first overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Penguins, Fleury had a successful career in Pittsburgh, winning three Stanley Cups with the team. However, in 2017, he was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft and became the face of the franchise. Fleury continued to impress, leading the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season. His excellent play earned him the Vezina Trophy in 2021.

2. Brandon Saad:
The Penguins drafted Saad in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He quickly established himself as a reliable two-way forward in Pittsburgh. However, in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015, Saad was sent to the Windy City. He thrived in Chicago, contributing to their Stanley Cup victories in 2013 and 2015. Saad returned to the Penguins in 2020, bringing his championship experience back to Pittsburgh.

3. Oskar Sundqvist:
Drafted by the Penguins in the third round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Sundqvist spent several seasons in Pittsburgh’s minor league system. However, in a trade with the St. Louis Blues in 2017, he found himself in a new environment. Sundqvist proved to be a valuable asset for the Blues, playing a crucial role in their 2019 Stanley Cup win. He became known for his physical play and defensive prowess, earning him a permanent spot in the lineup.

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4. Phil Kessel:
Kessel was acquired by the Penguins in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015. While not technically a draft pick, his impact on the ice cannot be overlooked. Kessel played a key role in the Penguins’ back-to-back Stanley Cup victories in 2016 and 2017, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs’ most valuable player in 2016. In 2019, he was traded to the Arizona Coyotes, where he continues to be a top offensive threat.

Road to Success

The success of these players beyond Pittsburgh highlights the Penguins’ ability to identify and develop talent. While it may be disappointing to see players leave the organization, their accomplishments elsewhere only speak to the strength of the Penguins’ drafting and development system. These players have gone on to make significant contributions to their new teams, proving themselves as valuable assets in the NHL.

In conclusion, the Pittsburgh Penguins have a track record of selecting gifted players who go on to achieve success both in Pittsburgh and beyond. Whether it’s Marc-Andre Fleury’s championship-winning performances with the Vegas Golden Knights or Brandon Saad’s contributions to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Penguins’ draft picks continue to leave their mark on the league. This success is a testament to the Penguins’ scouting and development staff, who consistently find and nurture talent within their organization.