Next week Sunrise, Florida will host the annual NHL Draft. It was only three years ago that the city of Pittsburgh, the Penguins and CONSOL Energy Center hosted the 2012 Draft. Here’s a look back at the Pens’ 2012 selections and their development.
Round 1 – 8th Overall (Acquired from Carolina with Brandon Sutter and Brian Dumoulin for Jordan Staal)
D – Portland Derrick Pouliot
Pens management was absolutely ecstatic that Pouliot was still available when the team acquired the eighth-overall pick. Pouliot possesses the puck skills, intelligence and creativity to be a future stud on the Pens’ blue line.
Pouliot made the jump to professional hockey in 2014-15. He split the season between Pittsburgh (NHL) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL). Pouliot filled in admirably for an injury-depleted defensive corps in Pittsburgh, including scoring his first NHL goal in his first NHL game, and gained the coaching staff’s trust. Expect him to not only compete for a spot on Pittsburgh’s blue line in 2015-16, but to compete for a prominent role.
Round 1 – 22nd Overall
D – LondonOlli Maatta
Maatta took the fast track to the NHL. He earned a spot on Pittsburgh’s roster as a 19-year-old novice in 2013-14. Despite his young age and green experience, Maatta quickly established himself as a defensively reliable blueliner. His maturity and calm under pressure were great assets to the Pens.
After a sensational rookie campaign, Maatta had a tumultuous sophomore season. Two shoulder surgeries and a bout with throat cancer limited Maatta to just 20 games. His absence was a huge blow to the team’s defensive corps. With a full summer to rehab, expect Maatta to return in top form during the 2015-16 campaign.
Round 2 – 52nd Overall
C – Shattuck-St. Mary’s HSTeddy Blueger
Blueger, a Latvian native, put up incredible numbers at the famous hockey high school of Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minnesota. He posted 88 points (24G-64A) in 51 games during his senior season heading into the draft. Blueger has also represented Latvia in international action in the World Junior Championship.
Blueger committed to play collegiate hockey at Minnesota State-Mankato of the WCHA. He set career highs in goals (10) and points (28) in his junior season in 2014-15. Blueger was Makato’s top-line center during the season and will likely see a lot of ice time next season as well.
Round 3 – 81st Overall
C – Skelleftea Jr. Oskar Sundqvist
Sundqvist impressed Pens scouts with his physical style of play combined with a good scoring touch. He posted 21 goals, 53 points and 129 penalty minutes with Skelleftea’s J-18 team in the Swedish Hockey League in 2011-12.
Sundqvist completed his final season with Skelleftea in 2014-15, finishing with nine goals, 19 points and a plus-15. Following the season he made the transition to North American hockey and joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for one game in their playoff run.
Sundqvist will try to earn a roster spot in Pittsburgh in September’s training camp. He’s a great addition to the bottom six with his physicality and grittiness. If he doesn’t land in Pittsburgh, he will continue his development in WBS.
Round 3 – 83rd Overall
G – Sault Ste. Marie – Matthew Murray
Murray enjoyed the most decorated season of any Pens prospect in 2014-15. He played his first full season of pro hockey in a record-breaking season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Murray led the league in goals-against average (1.58), save percentage (.941) and shutout totals (12). The AHL rookie won the Baz Bastien Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender, Dudley (Red) Garrett Award as AHL’s outstanding rookie, was selected as 20-14-15 First All-Star Team and All-Rookie Team.
Most impressively, Murray set a new AHL record for the longest shutout streak. He didn’t allow a goal for an entire month (Feb. 8 to March 8), a stretch that included four shutouts and 304:11 minutes.
Murray certainly is making a pitch to be in Pittsburgh next season. He would also benefit from another season carrying a full workload in the AHL. Either way, Murray is proving how strong the goaltending depth is in the organization.
Round 4 – 92nd Overall
C/W – KitchenerMatia Marcantuoni
Marcantuoni has a lot of great tools in his arsenal, including blazing speed and PK ability Heading into his draft year, Marcantuoni suffered an injury that limited him to just 24 games with Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League. Because of that, he fell to the Pens in the fourth round. And they were more than happy to take him.
Marcantuoni finished his first year of pro hockey in 2014-15 with WBS. In 59 games he posted four goals and 14 points. He will compete in training camp for a roster spot with the Pens.
Round 4 – 113th Overall
G – Powell River Sean Maguire
The Pens replenished their goaltending depth by adding Maguire with their second fourth-round pick after he starred with Powell River of the British Columbia Hockey League.
Maguire committed to play collegiate hockey for Boston University. He saw extensive action during his freshman and sophomore campaigns, playing in 37 contests in that stretch. Maguire took a medical red shirt for the 2014-15 season.
Round 5 – 143rd Overall
D – Peterborough Clark Seymour
Seymour played five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with Kingston and Peterborough from 2009-14.
Seymour played the bulk of the 2014-15 season with Wheeling of the ECHL. He posted 72 penalty minutes and a plus-7 in 54 contests. Seymour also saw action in 12 games for WBS.
Round 6 – 173rd Overall
RW – ShawiniganAnton Zlobin
Zlobin was coming off of a high entering his draft year. He had just led his club, Shawinigan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, to a Memorial Cup title. Zlobin scored both goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to top London 2-1, in the Memorial Cup Final game.
Zlobin entered the pro ranks in 2013. He played in 46 games for WBS in ’13-14, but really shined in the postseason. He netted six goals and 10 points to help WBS reach the conference finals. This past season shoulder surgery cut his year short at just six games played.