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Match Game

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

As the NHL Draft approaches each summer, scouting reports on all the top prospects become readily available. Some of them turn out to be the NHL players they’re projected to be, while others don’t even come close.

We decided to dig up the scouting reports on eight current Penguins from their respective draft years. While some may be easy to guess, others may surprise you. So go ahead and try to match the listed players to the descriptions. The answers are in a separate story – the link is provided below. Good luck!

1. NHL Central Scouting: “A very good skater with excellent agility and lateral movement. Good straight-away speed. A patient, confident puck carrier who makes good decisions with the puck. Is capable of joining the offensive rush, often leading the attack. Dominates the defensive zone, effectively clearing the front of the net. Plays a very aggressive and physical game, finishing his checks with authority.”

2. The Hockey News: “An exceptional athlete who starred in hockey, football and baseball. Owns outstanding offensive instincts and skating prowess; should eventually play at well over 200 pounds. Projects as a top-four defenseman with the capability of running a power play, but must prove he can produce points at a higher level; has big-time upside.”

3. The Hockey News: “Projects to be a franchise NHL center, with both size and an impressive skill set. … Is one of the youngest top prospects eligible, and owns huge upside potential. … Should eventually play at over 200 pounds once he fills out his frame. Has been compared to NHLers Mats Sundin and Vincent Lecavalier.”

4. The Hockey News: “Is considered a budding power forward, and should eventually play at well over 200 pounds once he finishes growing. Should score a lot of goals down the road, because he excels when driving to the net hard. He's not expected to compete for a roster spot for a few seasons, but could become a sound top-six forward.”

5. Kyle Woodlief, USA Today: “The question for him is whether his tremendous skating and smarts overcome his lack of size? He has exceptional footwork and, frankly, much better hockey sense than hismore-publicized defensive partner, particularly in the offensive zone. He's a very smart PP quarterback and plays a clean, efficient, mistake-free game. He's a very subtle player, but very underrated. His poise under pressure, neat spin moves and great puck movement decisions give him a good shot to overcome the size handicap.”

6. NHL Central Scouting: "I think for a potential pro player, he's got the size and mobility. I've seen him many games, and he never seems to make a bad play. He's never going to get 100 points, but definitely, when you want a guy to play defense, he's your guy. He does it all, he'll block shots and he moves the puck at the right time.”

7. The Hockey News: “Will likely transform whatever franchise gets the opportunity to draft him; possesses first-line ability and can play all three forward positions with aplomb. … Already knows where the defensive zone is, and owns an uncanny ability to keep possession of the puck.”

8. NHL Central Scouting: “Is a premier forward who is an excellent skater with a wide base style that makes him solid on his skates. Has a long fluid stride with very good agility and speed. At times throughout the season he was used on the point on the power play and is also an excellent penalty killer. Gives a solid two-way effort and is a quiet type of competitor who uses very good anticipation and hockey sense rather than physical strength to be effective defensively.”

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