The Pittsburgh Penguins made a priority of drafting forwards and they did that, selecting four forwards and one defenseman in the 2014 entry draft.
Pittsburgh’s draft class is highlighted by first round pick Kasperi Kapanen who Penguins scouts feel isn’t that far away from the NHL.
“Comong in our priority was to solidify our depth upfront and we feel very good about that,” Co-director of Amateur Scouting Randy Sexton said, via Pens TV. “Kasperi Kapanen maybe a year away from playing in Pittsburgh. Terrific young player. Size, skill, plays the game the right way,” Sexton said.
What the Penguins made a focus on and is a bit of a change from the past, was drafting players who play a heavy game in the later rounds.
Assistant GM Jason Botterill who had significant input in the draft, is said to be more of a believer in drafting size compared to Ray Shero who opted for smaller, speed players.
In the fourth round, Pittsburgh selected Sam Lafferty (6-0, 187) from Deerfield Academy. Was the 184th ranked player by Central Scouting. 21 Goals and 55 points in 25 games for Deerfield Massachusetts. Will play for Tri-City of the USHL next season and attend Brown University in 2015-2016.
Scout on Lafferty: “Excellent work ethic, commitment to the game. Will pay the price, take a hard hit to make a play. Nice package of skill, makes things happen with his speed when he gets going.”
In Round five, Pittsburgh added forward Anthony Angello (6-4, 190). Excellent size, was the 114 ranked player by Central Scouting. 11 Goals and 21 Points in 58 games for Omaha Lancers. Will return to Omaha next season, committed to play at Cornell University.
Scout on Angello: “I always love to find kids with his size and skill this late. You can’t teach size. Hard on pucks, good skill. Room to grow in o-zone”
In Round 6, the Penguins selected forward Jaden Lindo (6-1, 195). Was 154th ranked player by Central Scouting. 9 goals and 18 points in 40 games for Owen Sound of OHL. “Big, good along wall, heavy on forecheck,” Randy Sexton said of Lindo.
Sexton feels Angello and Lindo both fit the mold of adding players who play heavy.
The Penguins wrapped up their draft class with the selection of defenseman Jeff Taylor (5-11, 175) in Round 7. He was not ranked by central scouting.
Taylor is a puck moving defenseman, had 10 goals and 38 points in 26 games for Albany in High-New York league. He is committed to Union College.
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