EP Rinkside 2022 NHL Prospect Pool Rankings: No. 27-ranked Pittsburgh Penguins
This will be a familiar refrain for those who've kept up with this year's prospect pool rankings to date, but the standing of the Pittsburgh Penguins' system is a direct reflection of their status as decades-long contenders. No need to overthink this one or get upset about it.
Certainly, it's not a reflection of the work of their scouting staff. This group has consistently punched above their weight, finding quality support pieces with precious little draft capital on an almost annual basis. They make every pick count and then some.
What they can't find there, they try to unearth in NCAA, CHL, and European free agency. And they hit on those players with a stunning level of efficiency (all things being relative), finding cost-controlled depth to line the bottom of their depth chart that other teams miss.
Simply put: It's no coincidence that this franchise has been able to sustain such a high level of play at the NHL level. Having Sidney Crosby and Yevgeni Malkin doesn't hurt, but at a certain point, you need depth and support pieces. And if history is any indication, you're about to read about a few players who should, at the very least, rise to that occasion in the coming years.
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