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Penguins Report: 2014 NHL Draft Weekend

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins


Jim Rutherford

Jason Botterill

Randy Sexton

--Sam Kasan

For info on the other players that the Pens picked on the second day click here. Below is a taste.

Angello, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound forward, played for Omaha in the USHL in 2013-14, scoring 11 goals, 10 assists and 21 points in 58 games. The 18-year-old native of Albany, New York was the No. 114-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting.

In the sixth round (173rd overall) the Penguins took forward Jaden Lindo of the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). The 6-foot-1, 202-pound forward played in 40 games this past year, totaling nine goals, nine assists and 18 points.

--Sam Kasan

The Pens finally made their first pick of Day 2 in the fourth round (113th overall). With that selection, Pittsburgh chose forward Sam Lafferty of Deerfield Academy, a native of Hollidaysburg, PA - just outside of Altoona.

Here's a few notes on Lafferty from our PR department...

- Will play for Tri-City of the USHL in 2014-15
- Will play at Brown University in ’15-16
- Named to the New England Prep School Athletic Council All-Star Team in ’13-14 – some guys who previously had that honor were Ben Lovejoy and Tampa Bay’s star rookie Alex Killorn
- In 3 years of high school hockey, totaled 38G-57A-95PTS

Pittsburgh up next...

Penguins on the clock!

Penguins co-director of amateur scouting Randy Sexton announced the selection

Lafferty's name up on the board

--Michelle Crechiolo

There are a few independent scouting services out there who do a fantastic job of compiling thorough and detailed reports on every single prospect. Here's what ISS Hockey had to say about new Pen Sami Kapanen.

A dynamic two-way player who can fit into a multitude of situations, Kapanen is the son of former NHLer Sami Kapanen. He is not far away from being an effective and well-balanced NHL level player.

Dynamic offensive threat with explosive speed and highlight reel end-to-end ability.

NHL potential: Top-six offensive threat can be used on both PP and PK units.

Style compares to: Tomas Plekanec

Scouting Report:
Battled through adversity this year whether it was injuries, a disappointing U18 team performance or being forced to lead the last place KalPa team in the SM-Liiga. His statistics with KalPa don’t give a true representation of what he is able to produce as he had a limited supporting cast and was looked at to lead the offense as a 17 year old. He grabs your attention everytime he has the puck as his explosive speed, creativity and lethal offensive weapons show gamebreaker potential. His lower body strength and ability to maintain possession while being harassed by opposition checkers is excellent. Kasperi takes charge on the puck and displays the potential to be that go-to forward who can get the job done on the puck and puts a lot of pressure on himself to step into that role regardless of what team he’s playing for.

--Michelle Crechiolo

While we wait for our first pick of Day 2, let's take a look at all of the photos from last night's Day 1, where the Penguins drafted Kasperi Kapanen with the 22nd-overall pick. (Glamour shots included!)

Ready for his (super) closeup...

(All photos courtesy of Getty Images)

--Michelle Crechiolo

Good morning Pens fans! We're back at Wells Fargo Center after what feels like just a few short hours for Day 2 of the NHL Draft. Rounds 2-7 start at 10 a.m.

Our day won't start for a while, as the Pens do not have picks in the second and third rounds after trading both selections. Pittsburgh’s second-round pick (53rd overall) was sent to the San Jose Sharks in the Douglas Murray deal two seasons ago, and its third-round pick (58th overall) was traded to the Calgary Flames for forward Lee Stempniak.

We'll get started in the fourth round, where the Pens are picking 113th overall. They also have single choices in the fifth round (145th overall), sixth round (173rd overall) and seventh round (203rd overall).

Pittsburgh acquired the 145th pick from the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 6, 2013 in exchange for Ben Lovejoy. The Pens traded their own fifth-round pick (143rd overall) to Florida in exchange for forward Marcel Goc.

We'll be here all day - stay tuned for all the coverage!

--Michelle Crechiolo

Day 1, Round 1 is finally in the books. It was a busy night for the Penguins, as they traded star winger and longtime Evgeni Malkin linemate James Neal to Nashville before drafting longtime NHLer Sami Kapanen's son Kasperi Kapanen with the 22nd overall pick. Sam and I sneaked down to the draft floor and broke down everything that happened this evening from where it all began: the Penguins table.

That'll do it for us. See you back here in a few hours for rounds 2-7!

--Michelle Crechiolo


READ: NHL Prospect Profile: Kasperi Kapanen
NHL team: Philadelphia Flyers
NHL player: Alex Ovechkin
Shootout move: "I like to take a quick shot to the five hole or go backhand, forehand and high glove."
Goal celebration: "Just put my hands in the air and yell and shout I guess."
Video game: Call of Duty or NHL 14
Movie: The Hangover
Actor: Will Smith and Mark Wahlberg
Sport (other than hockey): Basketball

Full profile here.

READ: Pens Get Their Guy in Skilled Winger Kapanen
Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford actually drafted Kasperi’s father Sami, in the fourth round (87th overall) in the 1995 NHL Draft when he was the GM of the Hartford Whalers.

Rutherford was thrilled to see that the younger Kapanen was still available when it was the Penguins’ turn to pick, as Pittsburgh had him rated much higher on their draft board. Kapanen was listed as No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of European skaters for this year’s draft.

“We had him rated seventh (overall) on our list, and it’s exciting for me because I drafted his dad,” Rutherford smiled. “I don’t know how often that happens, that you draft a dad and his son.”

Full story here.

READ: Kapanen Set to Write New Chapter in Family's Legacy

On a certain level most children grow up idolizing their parents and would want to follow in the footsteps of their mom or dad when it comes to finding a career.

Sometimes that career is being a doctor, a teacher or an electrician. In the case of Kasperi Kapanen, it's playing hockey.

Most hockey fans in North America know about the Howes, the Hextalls and the Sutters; in professional hockey in Finland, the Kapanen name is just as big.

"It's a big thing," Kasperi said. "It's a burden to carry that name, but I like it."

Full story here.

WATCH: Kapanen Exclusive
PensTV spoke exclusively with the Penguins' latest draft pick Kasperi Kapanen.

WATCH: Kapanen Scrum
Penguins first-round draft pick Kasperi Kapanen talks to the media for the first time after being selected 22nd overall.

WATCH: Penguins Select Kasperi Kapanen
The Pittsburgh Penguins select KalPA forward Kasperi Kapanen with the 22nd overall selection in the 2014 NHL Draft.

WATCH: Combine 2014 - Kasperi Kapanen
Watch #1 rated NHL Central Scouting European prospect Kasperi Kapanen go through his Scouting Combine.

WATCH: Kasperi Kapanen talks after Combine
#1 rated NHL Central Scouting European prospect Kasperi Kapanen speaks after his Scouting Combine.

--Michelle Crechiolo

After the Penguins acquired Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling from the Nashville Predators in exchange for James Neal, Pittsburgh drafted Kasperi Kapanen - son of longtime NHLer Sami Kapanen - with the 22nd overall pick.

Here's the release on the newest member of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. Get to know him by taking a look at his full prospect profile from

--Michelle Crechiolo

Sam Kasan did a tremendous job of analyzing the Penguins' big trade tonight, touching on the all of the following topics...


Full breakdown is here.

And here's Penguins GM Jim Rutherford providing his insight on the moves...

--Michelle Crechiolo

PensTV has already assembled a highlight reel of new Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist. Watch below...

And here are the Nick Spaling highlights...

--Michelle Crechiolo

BREAKING NEWS: the Penguins have acquired forwards Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling from the Nashville Predators in exchange for winger James Neal.

Hornqvist is described as a shifty scoring winger that can play either side. He can take a hit to make a play, excels in front of the opposing goal and is disruptive - he scores garbage goals.

The Sweden native is 27 years old (drafted the same year as Sidney Crosby) and is a four-time 20-goal scorer. He scored 22G-31A-53P in 76 games this year, with his point total a personal high. He scored a career-high 30 goals in the 2009-10 season.

Spaling is coming off a career year this past season, recording 13 goals, 19 assists and 32 points in 71 games. The 6-foot-1, 201-pound forward has played four-plus seasons with Nashville. The 25-year-old should be a solid addition to the bottom-six, as he's a versatile two-way forward who can kill penalties.

The full release is here. We'll have more coverage coming.

--Michelle Crechiolo

We're a half hour into Round 1 and the first five picks are off the board. Here they are, with a one-line assessment on each guy from independent scouting service the Red Line Report...

1. FLA - Aaron Ekblad
“Big beast could have played in the NHL this year.”

2. BUF - Sam Reinhart
“Terrific hockey IQ and bloodlines, plus big-league shot.”

3. EDM - Leon Draisaitl
“The big, skilled, poised center everyone’s looking for.”

4. CGY - Sam Bennett
The draft’s best combo of talent, passion and grit.”

5. NYI - Michael Dal Colle
“Silky smooth with super soft hands, skills and vision.”

We've got a ways to go before the Penguins are up...

--Michelle Crechiolo

Say what you will about Philly fans, but we have to give them credit for packing Wells Fargo Center for the draft. It looks like every available seat is filled.

They certainly didn't disappoint when it came to being gracious hosts, as we don't think they've stopped booing since the draft began (except to cheer for any Flyers-related announcements, of course). NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was drowned out by boos while thanking them for their hospitality. "Isn't this the City of Brotherly Love?" he joked. Got to love it. Turn down for what?

Sam and I have a row of rowdy Flyers fans who are very vocal about voicing their dislike for the Penguins, so this should be a fun night. Hopefully they don't figure out who we work for...

--Michelle Crechiolo

Here's photos of the setup indoors here at Wells Fargo Center...

View of the draft floor

The stage

Lots of signage telling us where to go

Some guy making a very important phone call in the interview area

Another view of the interview area. They're all numbered. As prospects get drafted, there's a big screen that assigns each one to a booth so the media knows where to find them.

The media workroom

Thanks for lending us all your trophies Sid...

Simply the best.

Better than all the rest...

The Penguins' table on the draft floor

Clearly marked

Pens GM Rutherford and assistant GM Billy Guerin before the draft

The view from our seats...this place is PACKED.

--Michelle Crechiolo

My colleague Sam braved the warm, humid, 82-degree weather to walk around Wells Fargo Center and get pictures of the draft festivities going on outside...

This is where Sam and I entered, obviously...

Just kidding. This is where we went inside.

Though they may beg to differ, deep down Philly kids want to be just like Sid...

New Pens assistant coach Rick Tocchet...we think he looks much better in black and gold.

--Michelle Crechiolo

The Penguins have the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft for just the second time in franchise history, but fans don’t have to look very far back to see the team’s most recent – and successful – player selected at that position.

Olli Maatta.

Yeah, we’d say that turned out okay.

The Penguins were excited about Maatta, and they were right to be, as the young defenseman made Pittsburgh’s roster out of training camp the next year – just a few weeks after turning 19 – and established himself as a regular NHL blueliner during the 2013-14 season.

For more on Maatta's impressive rookie year, a photo gallery from his draft weekend in Pittsburgh two years ago and notes on a few recent 22nd-overall picks (hint: they're stars in this league), go here.

--Michelle Crechiolo

Hello, Pens fans! We are across the state in Philadelphia for the weekend to cover the 2014 NHL Draft. Round 1 is tonight and will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network starting at 7 p.m., while rounds 2-7 are Saturday with coverage starting at 10 a.m. on the NHL Network.

Overall, the Penguins have five selections in this year's draft, starting with the 22nd overall pick this evening here at the Wells Fargo Center (can't wait to see how much booing we get from Flyers fans...bring it on!)

Pittsburgh most recently held the 22nd selection in the 2012 NHL Draft held at CONSOL Energy Center. Pittsburgh used that pick on defenseman Olli Maatta, who was one of the NHL’s top rookies in 2013-14, placing third among all first-year blueliners with 29 points (9G-20A).

We'll be posting a ton of content from all seven rounds here on the blog, so make sure to stay tuned all weekend for the coverage!

And now, we don't know about you, but we're feeling 22...
(Come on, did you really think we'd start the blog with anything else?!)

--Michelle Crechiolo
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