About a week ago when Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero was interviewed about the impending draft he said “In terms of needs, I think in the first round you are going for the best upside that fits your criteria as an organization. When you get into the later rounds you might look for a specific need or to fill some of the depth you might have lost.” Then he continued on about how it was never good in the first few rounds to be drafting for a specific need.
In the first three rounds Shero was drafting for a specific need. He drafted all right wingers. When you look at the depth at right wing on the Penguins, as far as natural right wingers go, it is probably the worst in the league. Last year they had 39 year old Billy Guerin, Eric Godard, waiver pickup Craig Adams, WBS Penguins Chris Connor & Nick Johnson.
Penguins draft picks
1st Round (20th) RW Beau Bennett – 6ft 1in, 176lbs – Gardena, CA
3rd Round (80th) RW Bryan Rust – 6ft, 191lbs – Pontiac, MI
4th Round (110th) RW Tom Kuehnhackl 6ft 2in, 172lbs – Landshut, Germany
5th Round (140th) LW Keneth Agostino 5ft 11in, 190lbs – Morristown, NJ
6th Round (152nd) D Joe Rogalski 6ft 1in, 195lbs – Buffalo, NY
6th Round (170th) D Reid McNeill 6ft 3in, 191lbs – London, Ontario
*Brian Rust’s brother Matt Rust, was drafted 101st overall by Florida in 2007.
Ray Shero also traded next years third round draft pick to Philadelphia for the right to try and sign Nashville’s defenseman Dan Hamhuis before the July 1st trading deadline. Philadelphia acquired the right to try to sign him from Nashville and were unsuccessful. Shero most likely will be using his Nashville connection to Hamuis to try to convince him.
Today and tomorrow should be big days on the defensive front for the Penguins. They have four defensemen, Sergei Gonchar, Jordan Leopold, Mark Eaton and Dan Hamhuis, that they have the rights to try to sign before all of the teams get shots at them when free agency starts on Thursday. The Penguins have stated that Jay Mckee will not be part of their mix next year. If they are going to be signed, today or tomorrow will most likely be the days.