Pittsburgh Penguins Seeking First Round Pick


After trading it to the Edmonton Oilers for David Perron, the Pittsburgh Penguins are without a first round draft selection in the upcoming draft in Sunrise, Florida. But that doesn’t mean the team, or general manager Jim Rutherford, is content keeping it that way.

From a story today in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

"“I’ll certainly pursue it,” general manager Jim Rutherford said, acknowledging that, “I don’t know if we’ll be able to pick up one or not.”“There are some teams that have acquired an abundance of first-round picks, and they may not need them all,” he said. “I’ve actually talked to a couple of those teams already.”"

Six teams hold more than one first rounder; the Oilers, who hold their own first overall along with Pittsburgh’s selection; the Buffalo Sabres; Toronto Maple Leafs; Arizona Coyotes; Winnipeg Jets; and lastly, the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Sabres have mentioned they are willing to trade their 23rd overall pick, the low end of their two selections. They also own the second overall pick, where they are expected to draft Boston University star Jack Eichel.

Currently, the Sabres have been given permission to interview former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma. He is under contract still with Pittsburgh, therefore the team would require compensation if he signs elsewhere. It could be that the Penguins attempt to take Buffalo’s other first round selection in exchange for Bylsma’s coaching services.

“We don’t want to jeopardize what [Shero and Bylsma] could do going forward,” Rutherford said to the post gazette. “We’ll just wait to see who Dan possibly could get hired by, and make that decision at the time.”

If this approach does not work for the Penguins, they will need to trade for a first rounder if they want it bad enough. Pittsburgh will likely seek other selections as well, since they have just one draft pick in the first four rounds of this year’s draft.

That one selection would be their second rounder, leaving them without a first, third, or fourth. They sent their third round pick to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Marcel Goc last season, and they forfeited their fourth round selection to the Toronto Maple Leafs this February in exchange for Daniel Winnik.

The Penguins were ousted in the first round of the playoffs this year, knocked off by the New York Rangers. They’ve sacrificed many of their picks to not advance very far, and they might have to pay the price in this year’s draft.

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