By Larry Snyder
The 54th National Hockey League Entry Draft is Friday and Saturday, June 24-25, at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. The Pittsburgh Penguins have a total of five selections.
The first round begins at 7:00 p.m. Friday evening and will be seen on the NBC Sports Network. Pittsburgh’s first round pick was part of the deal that brought Phil Kessel over from the Toronto Maple Leafs. The second thru seventh rounds get underway at 10:00 a.m. Saturday on the NHL Network.
The Pens first pick is the 55th overall selection in the second round. It came from the Vancouver Canucks last summer in the deal that brought Nick Bonino to the City of Bridges. The Anaheim Ducks owned the choice before the Canucks.
The Penguins still have their own second-round choice which is the 61st overall. The breakdown of the remaining three selections are in the fourth – the 121st overall, the fifth – 151st overall, and the sixth – the 181st overall.
Barring any trades during the draft to acquire addition picks, here are what the experts are projecting as to whom the Black and Gold will take when they are on the clock.
According to Bill Placzek of DraftSite.com, Pittsburgh could take with the 55th pick, 18-year-old defenseman Luke Green from the Saint John Sea Dogs in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Placzek has the Pens closing the second round by choosing right-wing Wade Allison from the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League.
Chris Ransom at DraftUtopia.com forecasts goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick from the Sherbrooke Phoenix in the QMJHL going to the Black and Gold in the second round. Ransom likes center William Bitten from the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League for the last selection by the Penguins to end the second.
FanSided’s Ryan Ritchie from TooManyMenOnTheSite.com speculates it will be center/right-wing Will Bitten at 55 from the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League. Ritchie stirs the tea leaves to project the Pens taking defenseman Stepan Falkovsky from the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League with their final pick in the second.
Over at TheHockeyWriters.com, Larry Fisher predicts the Pens take center Jonathan Dahlen from Timra Div. II in Sweden with the 55th pick. With the 61st selection, Fisher envisions Pittsburgh taking defenseman Chad Krys from U.S. National Development Team in the USHL. The 5-foot-11, 183-pound ??
Steve Kournianos at TheDraftAnalyst.com has the Penguins strengthening their blue line crew with defenseman Filip Hronek from Mountfield HK, Extraliga, Czech Republic in the second round. Kournianos foresees the selection of defenseman Logan Stanley from the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL to wrap up the second.
The Bleacher Report‘s Allan Mitchell has goaltender Joseph Woll from the U.S. National Development Team in the USHL at 55 for Pittsburgh. He believes the Penguins go back to the USHL with the 61st pick and grab right-wing Wade Allison of the Tri-City Storm.
Somebody wake up the Toronto Maple Leafs table and tell them they are on the clock with the first pick overall.
From John Moore in February 2016 on YouTube – Mark Recchi on Pens Prospect Daniel Sprong, who was taken in the second round of 2015 NHL Entry Draft…