Pittsburgh should deal first round pick
With the upcoming entry draft swimming in top-quality centres, the Pittsburgh Penguins are in a good position to make a deal.
The Pens’ top two pivot spots are locked up for the next five years (at least) with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin while the defence corps and wings could use a little help. Enter a draft day deal.
I see one of two scenarios happening:
1) Pittsburgh comes to an agreement with St. Louis allowing the Pens to select defenceman Erik Johnson with the second-overall pick
2) Pittsbugh trades down — perhaps as low as, oh, say, 13th overall (had to throw that in for fellow Leaf fans and those who’ve come to expect such Toronto-based speculation). More likely, of course, would be a pick in the top ten. This would allow the Pens a crack at one of the top two or three wingers in the draft or the next-best defenceman.
What if — and this is pure speculation — Pittsburgh trades the second-overall pick in a package to the Wild for the ninth-overall pick and Marion Gaborik. This gives Minny a shot at a potential franchise player in Toews, Staal or Kessell and gives Pittsburgh a young, elite winger to play with Crosby.
In any case, it looks like Ray Shero has some work to do before the draft. Don’t be surprised if a different team takes the podium for the second-overall selection June 24.