Nov 27, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (left) congratulates center Evgeni Malkin (71) after Malkin scored a game winning shootout goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the CONSOL Energy Center.The Penguins won 6-5 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Draft Hits and Misses - Pittsburgh Penguins

With this past weekend’s draft in mind,  I have been and will continue to look at each team in the NHL, and see how they have performed at the NHL draft over the past 15 years.  There are basically 3 really important areas to determine the level of success at one of the most inexact sciences in the game – selecting 17 and 18 year old kids and projecting what they will be like over the next 10 or 15 years.

Those three areas are: 1) Success in the first round; 2) Success in the second round and 3) The number of drafted players playing on a team’s roster.  I limit it to the first 2 rounds because that is where a majority of the impact players come from, and also where mistakes in judgement are magnified.  Players that come after the second round for the most part are fortunate picks and if they work out it is a bonus.  Henrik Zetterberg, for example, was a 7th round pick, and although you could claim Detroit was skilled in unearthing a prospect at that point in the draft, if they had known he was going to be as good as he turned out to be, they wouldn’t have waited that long. There is as much good luck as good management for a player like that, and that is factored in in the 3rd area of success.

Now we turn our attention to the Pittsburgh Penguins and their track record since the year 2000.


The Coyotes have selected 13 players in the first round of the draft, with 9 of them making some impact in the NHL, for a success rate of 69%.


In the second round, 1 of the 13 players they selected have gone on to play a significant amount of time, resulting in a 8% success rate.


The Penguins had 12 Pittsburgh-drafted players play games with them this past season.


SUCCESSES – With a bad team in the early 2000’s the Penguins turned high draft picks and good luck in the draft lottery to nab Sidney Crosby Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and Jordan Staal.

FAILURES – Angelo Esposito stands out as the lone mistake in the first round.

STEALS – The Penguins have had some success finding late-round gems.  Matt Moulson, Joe Vitale, Jake Muzzin are among the post 150 draft picks that have panned out.    



NHL RANK: 22nd

* Score is determined by a formula that encompasses all three aspects listed above and graded on a curve with the highest ranking team awarded a perfect  score and 100% rating and the remainder of the clubs given a percentage of that score.

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Tags: Evgeni Malkin Matt Moulson NHL Draft Penguins Sidney Crosby

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