Pictured above: Chase Pietila (left) and Logan Pietila (right)

Pittsburgh’s 2024 fourth-round pick Chase Pietila has played with his brother Logan his whole life, from their homemade rink to Michigan Tech and now, at Penguins development camp.

Chase, 20, joined the Penguins organization almost three months after Logan, 24, signed an American Hockey League contract with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, suiting up for three games with the team in April.

“Just a surreal experience playing with each other,” Logan said. “We grew up with each other playing in the backyard. So just kind of bringing it on a bigger stage is for sure awesome.”

While most NHL prospects who don’t attend the festivities in person spend their draft day staring at the TV, eagerly anticipating the moment they see their name suddenly appear on the screen, Chase was on the golf course with another one of the four Pietila brothers, Grant, when that happened.

“I just kind of wanted to take my mind off the day,” Chase said. “I talked to my advisor the night before. He said anywhere between the fifth and seventh rounds is what he was thinking. So, I was kind of just golfing, enjoying my time with my brother, and then I end up getting a call from my advisor, and he's just like, ‘Pittsburgh, baby!’”

Chase was a little surprised when he found out his destination.

“(Penguins President of Hockey Operations and GM Kyle Dubas) called me and was like, ‘yeah, when we found out that we wanted to draft you, I talked to all the scouts and said, ‘don't talk to Chase, don't talk to his advisor, don't talk to his coach.’ He didn’t want anyone knowing,” he said. “So, they kind of flew under the radar and shocked me, but I'm super, super happy.”

While this moment was a highlight of Chase’s life, his great round on the links did suffer afterward.

“My phone started blowing up from my family and friends and stuff. So, I didn't really get to golf much after that, but it was for sure fun,” Chase said. “I was only like two over through 15 (holes), and it kind of went a little downhill with the emotions juicing.”

One of the first things Chase did after being drafted was to talk to Logan.

“He told me that he loved Wilkes-Barre and it’s a super good organization, so it’s pretty special to come here with him and do it together,” Chase said.

With Logan and his twin brother Blake suiting up for a fifth year at Michigan Tech, Chase got to play alongside them as a true freshman with the Huskies. Chase, a defenseman, led the entire Huskies team with 19 assists in 40 games. The Penguins were thrilled to see Chase shine in his third year of being draft-eligible, with director of amateur scouting Nick Pryor praising his progress.

“I'm a two-way d-man,” Chase said. “I like to play pretty aggressive and play in the D-zone first, but add offense when it's needed, for sure. Then I'm trying to work on my skating a little bit in transitioning and just obviously working on the little details, like stick position.”

Chase will head back to Michigan Tech for his sophomore season, this time without his brothers there.

“It’s going to be weird,” Chase said. “They are taking off the first initial, I don’t like it. I might have to tell them to keep it on.”

The brothers credit their success to the sacrifices their parents made for them.

“They've been two of the most important people in my life,” Chase said. “Me and my three older brothers all played hockey, and my younger sister played soccer. So, they are always running around leaving work early. Like my dad drove from Windsor all the way home (to Howell, Michigan), like an hour drive over the border every day just to bring me to practice. I was getting dressed in the car just to make it on the ice on time.”

They’ve come a long way since then, but the Pietila brothers realize there’s still a long way to go before realizing their dream of making it to the next level.

“It’s super special anytime you can wear an NHL logo, especially the Pittsburgh Penguins,” Logan said. “It just kind of shows you have to keep working.”