The Pittsburgh Penguins will be heading into the 2021 NHL draft with only five picks throughout the seven rounds.
Their earliest is a second-round pick at position 48. Why is this draft so important?
First of all, making a trade that sent forward Jared McCann to the Toronto Maple Leafs leaves a gaping hole in the third-line offence, while the Seattle Kraken’s expansion draft picked up forward Brandon Tanev.
It is another gaping hole into the line-up. The Penguins must come into this year’s NHL draft in hopes to making a good trade to replace those players, otherwise it will lead into free agency starting July 1 without two great forwards.
The Penguins should keep these draft picks due to having one of the worst prospect pools in the league.
The only noticeable players in the prospect pool are Samuel Poulin and Nathan Legare, who are playing really well in their respective teams.
To have only two noticeable players compared to the rest of the league, this is a really worrying concern with star players like Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang getting older into their 30s. It leaves no future for the Penguins’ organisation.
It angered me that the Penguins traded their 15th overall pick to Toronto in exchange for Kasperi Kapanen and others as they really needed some prospects to make an impact now.
The Penguins decided to keep their draft pick from the Minnesota Wild due to the early trade that involved Jason Zucker.
Heading into this year’s draft, the Penguins’ first-round pick is now Minnesota’s due to the earlier trade.
It is very important that the Pens keep their picks now because it is only a matter of a couple of seasons before star players retire.
GM Ron Hextall has a habit of drafting well and that seems to be the only hope. However, he has come out and said that he would listen to offers if there were to be any.
The Penguins cannot lose in this year’s draft because this will alter the future of the Penguins and they must sign forwards to fill the gap for McCann and Tanev.
If this is not the case, many Penguins fans around the world will be very upset. This can lead to the argument that the Pens keep their draft picks and try their luck in free agency.
It is a tough situation, which must be played out in a careful manner. We will see what the future holds.