Top Ten Prospects Vol. 23 – Pittsburgh Penguins

Welcome back to my top ten prospect series.

Earlier today, we took a trip to the city of brotherly love to check out who the Philadelphia Flyers had in their prospect system. They have a solid crop of rookies who will be wearing the orange and black in the future, including Carter Hart, Philippe Myers, and Morgan Frost. Today, we’re going to head to the west side of Pennsylvania and check out who the Pittsburgh Penguins have lined up in their pipelines. Without further ado, let’s have a look.

1. Calen Addison (D, 2nd Round, 53rd Overall in 2018)

After a stellar offensive season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL, the Penguins took a flyer on Addison and selected him at 45th overall. He plays a very skilled game from the back end and has 39 points in 35 games so far this season. He likely dropped due to his size, standing at only 5’10, but he has skill to burn and could easily become a quality defenseman in today’s NHL.

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2. Filip Hallander (C, 2nd Round, 58th Overall in 2018)

As early as it is, the Penguins are looking like they made a couple of stellar picks in the second round of last year’s draft. Hallander plays the role of a two way forward who has great checking ability at both ends of the ice. He’s currently playing for Timra IK of the SHL and has 12 points in 23 games so far. The Pens could bring him to North America sooner rather than later if he keeps working to improve his game and results show.

3. Jordy Bellerive (C, Undrafted, Signed in 2017)

Bellerive went undrafted in his draft year of 2017, but the Penguins saw something in him later that other team’s didn’t, so they signed him to an entry level deal before he could re-enter the draft. It’s currently looking like it’s paying off, as he has 47 points in 36 games so far this season.

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4. Justin Almeida (C, 5th Round, 129th Overall in 2018)

Almeida may not be the tallest guy on the ice, standing at 5’11, but he has lots of skill and elite playmaking and scoring ability. Playing for the Moose Jaw Warriors this season, the British Columbia native has 48 points in 29 games thus far and is getting better every season.

5. Kasper Bjorkvist (RW, 2nd Round, 61st Overall in 2016)

Bjorkvist went from playing in his native Finland in his draft year to playing college hockey in the United States, and while he got off to a slow start he’s improved his game each year and now has 18 points in 18 games for Providence College. The 6’1 right winger has no quit to his play and has a strong two way game.

6. Clayton Phillips (D, 3rd Round, 93rd Overall in 2017)

Spending pretty much the entirety of his hockey career playing in his home state of Minnesota, Phillips has had lots of eyes on him as he transferred from the USHL to the NCAA. He’s currently playing for the University of Minnesota and has eight points in 16 games for them thus far.

7. Nikita Pavlychev (C, 7th Round, 197th Overall in 2015)

If you couldn’t tell by his name, Pavlychev is Russian. But he hasn’t played in Russia at all since the scouts started to pay attention. He’s a towering centre at 6’7 and 201 lbs and is currently playing for Penn State University of the NCAA, where he’s greatly improved his offensive game this season and has 20 points in 18 games. If he finishes strong, it’s hard to believe the Penguins won’t give him a look in the pros.

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8. Sam Lafferty (C, 4th Round, 113th Overall in 2014)

After four successful seasons playing for Brown University of the NCAA, Lafferty is currently in his first season playing in the AHL, and he’s off to a great start, putting up 24 points in 35 games so far. With the way he’s producing, Lafferty will more than likely get an NHL look sooner rather than later.

9. Anthony Angello (C, 5th Round, 145th Overall in 2014)

Angello is a hulking centre at 6’5 and 210 lbs, so even if his offense isn’t always incredible he will likely always get a second look for that aspect alone. He’s currently in his first pro season with fellow 2014 draft pick Sam Lafferty and hasn’t disappointed so far, putting up 15 points in 33 games so far. Along with Lafferty, Angello will likely get an NHL look at some point.

10. Linus Olund (C, 5th Round, 155th Overall in 2017)

It’s safe to say that the Penguins don’t have a shortage of centre depth in the pipelines. Olund was just brought to North America after a few successful SHL seasons, and he’s off to a good start with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins with 10 points in 34 games so far.

Thanks for reading! Tune in next time where we’ll check out the San Jose Sharks farm system.

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featured photo image credit – Nikos Michals

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