The Pittsburgh Penguins have had a prolific offense for years, and the central characters in their group of forwards could stay together and productive for years to come.
Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero is going to have the ability to supplement those forwards with a crop of exciting young defensemen in the coming seasons. Not all of them will play for Pittsburgh -- touted prospect Joseph Morrow was traded to the Dallas Stars for Brenden Morrow before the NHL Trade Deadline -- but they all are valuable assets and lead the list of top prospects in the Pittsburgh organization.
"I think some of it was best player available," Shero said of drafting so many defensemen recently. "When it was our turn to pick, we had guys who were just very strong on a certain defenseman. All of these guys are really good hockey players who are going to play in the National Hockey League. I can't say when and where the opportunity is going to be, but there is certainly a premium on defensemen in the League.
"When it is time to turn some of your club over, it is really helpful to have guys like that ready to step in. We're looking forward to some of those guys getting into our lineup in the way that Simon Despres has had the opportunity or the way Robert Bortuzzo has had the opportunity. When you talk to people around the League, center icemen and defensemen are definitely the commodities teams are looking for. ... In the end, you are drafting assets, whether it is to play for your team or to be utilized in other ways."