The Pittsburgh Penguins decided not to trade away their first round draft pick and took defenseman Owen Pickering with the 21st overall selection.
Pickering stands at 6-foot-4 and joins the Penguins prospect pool from the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL.
According to Pickering himself, he sees himself as a solid two-way defender who modeled his game after Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer.
Pickering even wears the number 27 like Niedermayer did all 18 years of his NHL career.
In 62 games with the Broncos during the 2022-23 WHL season, Pickering put up 33 points (9-24).
Initial reaction from reporters around the Penguins believe Pickering can grow into being a shutdown defender at the level of Brian Dumoulin, but with added offensive ability.
Some pundits around hockey like TSN's Craig Button had Pickering going as high as 13th in the draft, so falling to 21 could play in the Penguins favor.
As an added bonus for Penguins fans, recently re-signed defender Kris Letang was on hand to announce the pick in his home town of Montreal.
The Penguins defensive prospect pool needed some help, and Pickering should make a difference in the system.
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