The Penguins' 2020 Draft recap is presented by GEICO. To view the Draft Hub, click here.
It turned out to be a busy Day 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft, which was held virtually, for the Penguins - who did not have a first-round pick after trading it to Toronto in August as part of a package in exchange for forward Kasperi Kapanen.
After a couple of trades, the Penguins ultimately selected five players - two goaltenders and three forwards - in Rounds 2-6.
"We're excited about all of the players that we got today," Penguins director of amateur scouting Patrik Allvin said.
Wednesday morning began with the Penguins acquiring a second-round pick (52nd overall) just moments before the draft began and forward prospect Jonathan Gruden from the Ottawa Senators - who drafted him in the fourth round (95th overall) in 2018 - in exchange for goaltender Matt Murray.
To view the trade details, click here.
Gruden spent the 2019-20 season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, where he recorded 30 goals, 36 assists, 66 points and a plus-20 in 59 games. Prior to that, he played one season of collegiate hockey with Miami University (Ohio) and two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program from 2016-18.
"You look for prospects and what kinds of prospects teams are willing to give, and Ottawa has a lot of young players," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. "Gruden is a player that we liked when we watched him play in London. He plays a real determined game. Great character. He was the captain of one of his teams when he was with the U.S. program. He can play left and right wing. It's going to take him a little bit to develop, he's still got a little work to do on his game. But he'll have a chance to play for the Penguins at some point."
Later in the day, the Penguins sent their fifth-round pick - 139th overall - to Colorado in exchange for the 149th and 211th picks. They then flipped the 211th pick to Washington for a 2021 seventh-round pick.
Below is a look at the newest additions to the Penguins organization…
Selection: Second Round (52nd overall)
Birthplace: Uusikaarlepyy, Finland
Amateur Team: Karpat (SM-Liiga) and Hermes (Mestis)
Notes: Ranked third among European goalies on NHL Central Scouting's final rankings … Started the 2020-21 season with Karpat's senior team of SM-liiga, Finland's top professional league, after appearing in two games with them last year ... Posted a 2-0 record with a 1.50 goals-against average and .914 save percentage while playing alongside former Penguin Jussi Jokinen ... Plan is for him to spend the rest of the year with Hermes of Mestis, Finland's second-highest professional league … Spent the majority of last season with Karpat's junior team, where he was awarded the Jorma Valtonen Award as best goaltender and named to the First All-Star Team after leading the league with a .931 save percentage to go along with a 1.66 goals-against average … Also backstopped them to a league championship in 2018-19 … Won a silver medal at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge that same year.
Red Line Report: "Has a long, lean, flexible netminder's build. One of the most athletically gifted netminders in this class. Very good movement both in the butterfly and when standing up. Moves quickly, effortlessly and in a controlled manner in all four directions and is fast from down-to-up. Shows excellent reflexes reacting to deflections. He's got good size, shows fine movement and is flexible. Well-balanced in his stance and gets good lateral push off either skate. Doesn't give up on plays - competes well. Flashes quick pads and good footwork. Directs pucks to the corners with his stick and blocker."
Allvin's Take: "I would compare Blomqvist to (Tristan) Jarry at this point. Really calm play-reader, really athletic. Obviously he needs to get stronger, as most of the young kids do."
Selection: Third Round (77th Overall)
Birthplace: Olofstrom, Sweden
Amateur Team: Kristianstads IK (HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden's second-highest professional league)
Notes: Ranked fourth among European goalies NHL Central Scouting's final rankings … Spent the majority of last season with Rogle BK J20, a developmental team for the Swedish Hockey League's Rogle BK, where he posted a .913 save percentage and a 2.64 goals-against average … Has represented his country numerous times, including winning a gold medal as a member of Team Sweden in the 2019 World Junior Championship.
Allvin's Take: "He might be a little bit further ahead in his body composition (than Joel Blomqvist), but the same there - a really good, competitive player. He's a play-reader as well."
Selection: Fourth Round (108th Overall)
Birthplace: Tampa, Florida
Amateur Team: Medicine Hat (WHL)
Notes: Split last season between Medicine Hat and Vancouver, totaling 18 goals and 38 points in 52 games … Played the 2018-19 campaign with Vancouver after winning a BCHL championship with the Wenatchee Wild in 2017-18 … Was born in Tampa, Florida but grew up in Point Roberts, Washington … His father, Jaroslav, grew up in the Czech Republic and played six seasons with the Capitals and Lightning after being drafted by Washington in the first round back in 1996.
Allvin's Take: "Right-shot forward playing out of the Western Hockey League in Medicine Hat who is heading into the U.S. World Junior Camp next week. Started out last year in Vancouver, got traded to Medicine Hat where we thought that his game took off. Intriguing player because of his hockey sense and skill level, and also a good skater."
Selection: Fifth Round (149th Overall)
Birthplace: Riga, Latvia
Amateur Team: Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)
Notes: Last season marked his first in North America … Finished with 13 goals and 35 points in 60 games … Was teammates with Penguins prospect Nathan Legare, who was drafted in the third round (77th overall) in 2019 … Hails from the same hometown as Penguins forward Teddy Blueger … Has represented his country numerous times, most recently at the 2020 World Junior Championship in Division 1A.
Allvin's Take: "Obviously played for Baie-Comeau in the Quebec League, where we have Nathan Legare. So we had a lot of staff members watching Baie-Comeau this year and we were intrigued by Ansons' size and speed. We do think there's more production to come in this year for him being in his second year over (in North America). So we hope that he can take a big step."
Selection: Sixth Round (170th Overall)
Birthplace: Fairview, Texas
Amateur Team: U.S. National Team Development Program
Notes: Spent the last two seasons with the USNTDP … Appeared in five games at the 2019 Under-17 World Championship ... Is committed to Providence College for the upcoming season … Grew up playing for the Dallas Stars AAA program.
Allvin's Take: "Yoder is a character player out of the U.S. development team, that we watch a lot. A little bit like Teddy Blueger, the way Teddy is playing now for Pittsburgh - a hard-working, two-way energy player. More of a fourth-line potential (when it comes to his) upside. But a really strong leader, strong character."