Pittsburgh Penguins: Who Are Some of the Top Prospects in the System?
The Pittsburgh Penguins relied on a very good system in order for them to win back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 2016 and 2017. They don’t have a very deep system as of right now, but Pittsburgh has some very promising young players in the near future. Who are some of those players?
Centerman Justin Almeida was a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and he completely blossomed with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL. Alemdia played in 64 games and he scored 33 goals and 78 assists. His plus/minus is 28. Justin Almeida is 20 years old and he recently signed an entry-level deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Almeida will most likely start next season in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He could potentially be a top-six forward one day if Justin Almeida continues to develop properly. He also played in four postseason games and Almeida didn’t score or record an assist. His plus/minus was -4.
Centerman Jordy Bellerive is also 20 years old. He was not drafted. In 68 games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL, Bellerive scored 33 goals and recorded 50 assists. His plus/minus was 27. In seven postseason games, he scored two goals and recorded six assists. His plus/minus was -2. Jordy Bellerive’s upside is most likely a depth or role player at the NHL level. He also played in three games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL and he didn’t score or record an assist. His plus/minus was -3. Bellerive will most likely start next season in the AHL.
Winger Jan Drozg has a knack for offense, but he has a lot of work to do on his defensive game. He played with the Shawinigan Cataractes in the QMJHL last season. In 60 games, Drozg scored 21 goals and recorded 41 assists. His plus/minus was -35. Jan Drozg played in six postseason games and he scored four goals and recorded two assists. His plus/minus was 1. He was a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Drozg will most likely start next season in the AHL.
Defenseman Calen Addison is the best defenseman in the Pittsburgh Penguins farm system. He is an excellent skater and moves the puck well. Addison has the potential to be a Top 4 defenseman in the NHL one day. He was a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. Calen Addison was signed to an entry-level deal with Pittsburgh. He played this past season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL. In 67 games, Addison scored 11 goals and recorded 54 assists. His plus/minus was 2. In seven postseason games, he scored two goals and recorded seven assists. Calen Addison’s plus/minus was -6. He played in three games in the AHL and Addison and recorded two assists. His plus/minus was even. Calen Addison will most likely start next season again in juniors and it could be in a year or two that he makes an impact for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Forward Oula Palve was signed as a free agent and is 27 years old. He has not played in an NHL game before and Palve hopes to crack the roster in 2019-2020. Palve played last season with the TPS Turku in the SM-Illga. In 53 games, he scored 16 goals and recorded 35 assists. In five postseason games, Oula Palve scored one goal and recorded three assists and his plus/minus was -3.
Defenseman Ethan Prow blossomed last season down in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He is 26 years old and Prow was not drafted. It is very possible he could crack the NHL roster next season in Pittsburgh, but it is possible he could spend more time down here in the AHL. In 74 games played, Ethan Prow scored 18 goals and recorded 32 assists. His plus/minus was 26. He still has the potential to be a serviceable player in the NHL.
Some of these players will have a longer career in the NHL than others. The NHL Draft is also in two week’s from Friday night in Vancouver. The Pittsburgh Penguins will have the 21st pick in the NHL Draft and they will only have five picks in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Their prospect pool is average at best and they need to upgrade it in the upcoming NHL Draft.
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