MEET THE PENGUINS: 2017 NHL Entry Draft Recap

2017 Draft logoThis is your one-stop shop during the 2017 NHL Entry Draft! Whether or not you’re following along with the television broadcast or just hitting the refresh button on mobile, Skating on the Susquehanna is exactly where Penguins fans want to be on draft night.

Unless some deals are struck, Pittsburgh won’t make its first selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft until the very last pick of the first round. So we’ll be updating this live blog with anything interesting happening in the first round leading up to the Penguins’ pick at 31. After that, we’ll only cover every one of Pittsburgh’s picks on Saturday.

Every player selection will be accompanied by a detailed scouting report, so you know exactly who’s just joined the organization and who could be suiting up for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton someday down the line.

This blog was updated LIVE throughout the draft festivities on Friday and Saturday, and has since been reorganized to show the Penguins’ picks in chronological order first. You can scroll all the way to the bottom to see old updates from our first round coverage:
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2017 NHL DRAFT PREVIEW: Potential Penguins Targets

Nolan or NicoAfter the historic expansion draft in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, the hockey world is back to its regularly scheduled program. Up next in the offseason is the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, for which the finest young stars will blow into the Windy City in hopes of being whisked away by an NHL club. Of course, many of the players selected on June 23 and 24 will dazzle fans in the AHL, as well.

At the top of the draft rankings are two centermen separated by the slimmest of margins, creating one of the most hotly contested “Who’s No. 1?” debates in hockey history. By virtue of winning the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row, the Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t a part of the Nico or Nolan conversation. Pittsburgh’s first selection will comes 31st overall, followed by picks in rounds three, five (2), six and seven.

Just because the marquee-name prospects won’t mean all the talent will be scooped up by the time the Penguins are on the clock. Recent Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stars like Oskar Sundqvist, Bryan Rust, Scott Wilson and Matt Murray weren’t even taken in the first 80 picks of their respective drafts. Jake Guentzel was selected 77th overall in 2013, and there’s not a hockey fan on planet earth who can try and belittle what he’s accomplished in his short pro career so far.

The point is: There’s always talent available at any point in any draft class. You just have to find it. Here are some names that Pittsburgh might be considering calling in Chicago this weekend…

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Now that the dust has settled from another year of hockey (and the Pittsburgh Penguins reign supreme once again), the offseason begins. This summer will not be your prototypical offseason, though. No, no, no. For the first time since the turn of the new millennium, the NHL will have an expansion draft.

And that event will be here before you know it.

Vegas gold

With the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights as the NHL’s 31st member club, the new team will fill out a roster through the expansion draft. The NHL has done this well before the advent of Sin City hockey, too. The league has held 11 prior expansion drafts, the first of which took place in 1967 when the NHL’s “Original Six” franchises were joined by the congregation of the Los Angeles Kings, Oakland Seals, Minnesota North Stars, St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The landscape of the game has altered significantly since 1967 (and, for that matter, from 2000, the last time an NHL Expansion Draft took place). The league exists in a salary cap era now, contract details have become increasingly more complex and widespread media coverage has evolved hand-in-hand with rampant fan fervor. Therefore, there are a lot of moving parts going into this upcoming event, and it can be very, very confusing.

Fret not, hockey fan, because we will happily explain everything you need to know about the upcoming NHL Expansion Draft and hope to answer any questions you may have.

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No matter how hideous you think he sounds on the phone, “Jake From State Farm” has been dominating the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fans knew about Jake Guentzel’s skills and scoring prowess for about a full calendar year before hockey fans around the globe were introduced to his jaw-dropping capabilities. He’s not a secret anymore, and everyone has taken notice of his historic postseason production.

Guentzel scored his playoff-leading 10th goal on Monday night, making him just the fifth rookie in the league’s 100-year history to achieve double digits in goal-scoring in one postseason. He also has four game-winning goals, tied for the most by a rookie in history, too.

Ten goals isn’t the all-time record, though. Here’s a look at some of Guentzel’s peers in the history books. Who’s he chasing? Who has he surpassed? These are the names and faces he will be associated with when people talk about the finest rookie performances the Stanley Cup Playoffs have ever seen. Continue reading


Oskar Sundqvist took home the latest incarnation of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Media Award this past season. Despite English not being his first language, it never stopped him from letting his personality bleed through.

Sundqvist Media AwardIt was a crowded field of legitimate contenders for the award, though. Cameron Gaunce always gave well thought-out analysis on any number of topics he was presented. Tom Sestito is consistently brutally honest. But Sundqvist routinely providing reporters with his unique perspective without mincing his words and developed into a reliable go-to quote for reporters after a big win, a tough loss, unforeseen circumstances, etc.

In honor of Sundqvist’s Media Award title, here is a collection of some of his best quotes he delivered to scribes throughout his second year with the Penguins…

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Last time we checked in on Teodors Blugers (Teddy Blueger) and Team Latvia, they were undefeated and leading their group at the IIHF World Championship. After dropping their next three contests to Sweden, Russia and the United States, it came down to the last preliminary game of the tournament to see who was moving on to the Quarterfinals.

Latvia was tested with host Germany in a winner-advances, loser goes home contest, and it did not disappoint.

Blueger and Latvia came within 33 seconds of victory, but Germany tallied on a power play with the goalie pulled to force overtime. After a scoreless extra period, Penguins prospect Frederik Tiffels delivered the only goal of the shootout in front of a raucous crowd in Cologne to give Germany a 4-3 win and catapult he and his countrymen beyond the prelims.

Germany got off to a strong start, scoring two goals 27 seconds apart midway through the second period to establish a 2-0 lead. Latvia tallied late in the middle frame to cut the German’s lead in half.

Former Rochester American Jānis Sprukts knotted the score, 2-2, at 8:22 of the third period. Roughly eight minutes later, Andris Džeriņš put Latvia in the driver’s seat with a power play goal.

Blugers and Latvia appeared poised to advance until a puck over glass delay of game penalty put them on the kill in the final two minutes of regulation. With the goalie pulled and the extra attacker on for a six-on-four advantage, Felix Schütz brought the pro-German crowd to its feet, notching an equalizer with 33 seconds remaining.

blog_TiffelsTiffels electrified the crowd again with his shootout goal that gave his team the 4-3 win.

Bluegers wraps up his stay at the Worlds having scored one goal in seven games.

Germany advances to face Canada in the quarters, which was dealt an upset loss at the hands of Switzerland, but was still good enough to take the top spot in Group B. Tiffels will face-off against the Canadians at on Thursday, May 18. The game can be viewed by audiences in the United States on NHL Network.

Penguins Podcast – Best of 2016-17

Penguins Podcast

Mike O’Brien and Nick Hart re-visit their favorite moments and stories from the a season’s worth of podcasts. And they follow up on some unanswered questions like:
– Did Sahir Gill’s coat ever make it from China?
– What ever became of Brett Stern’s cat, Mr. Glenn?
– What’s the other side of the story that resulted Cameron Gaunce having a plate thrown at his head by his brother, Brendan?