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Get to Know Penguins First Round Pick Owen Pickering

The Pittsburgh Penguins chose Owen Pickering as the 21st overall selection in the 2022 NHL Draft

In recent memory, the Pittsburgh Penguins are not usually a team that has a first round draft pick.

For the 2022 NHL Draft, however, the Penguins used their 21st overall selection; their third first round pick since 2014.

The Penguins chose 6’4” defenseman Owen Pickering from the Swift Current Broncos.

But who is the newest Penguins prospect? Early reports show Pickering to be a speedy skater who can dish the puck with ease.

For an easy Pens comparable, Pickering can turn into a Brian Dumoulin type but with more offensive upside.

According to Nick Pryor, the Penguins head of amateur scouting, the staff thought highly of Pickering’s hockey sense and compete level.

“Our staff is big on hockey sense and competitiveness,” Pryor said. “Owen checks those boxes as well as some other boxes. He’s got a good idea of his game.”

In his 2021-22 season in the WHL, Pickering racked up nine goals and an impressive 24 assists for 33 points leading Broncos defenders in scoring.

At the age of 18, Pickering may still be growing; he started his WHL career at only 5’7” and has since grown almost an entire foot.

Penguins forward Drew O’Connor had a similar growth spirt later in his development, so this is nothing new for the Penguins.

Pickering's speed is an impressive part of his game, especially considering his growth.

One of the biggest needs on the Penguins blue line is a sense of speed and using it to transition defense into offense.

That's a skill that Pickering will be able to grow by leaps and bounds if he stays on his projected path.

Pickering told ESPN following being selected by the Penguins that he wears 27 like Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer did and he hopes to bring a similar style of play.

Not the highest scoring defender on the ice, but can help contribute at any time and can be responsible defensively.

Pickering won’t be making the Penguins straight out of his first camp, but he is a highly skilled prospect with the kind of upside that could make him a top defender one day.

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