(PITTSBURGH, PA) While the Pens have made a number of large deals over the past couple of years, the team still has an impressive group of promising NEFHL talent waiting in the wings for an opportunity to thrive. Who can forget the blockbuster trades that saw the Penguins draft Seth Jones and Bo Horvat last year? This year the Pens took a slightly different approach at the draft table. 

"We made a ton of movement and sacrificed a lot of youth to get the players that we want. This year we wanted to take a slightly more conservative approach" the Pens GM stated. 

At 31st overall, the club selected high risk/high reward forward Vladislav Kamenev. He was ranked 12th on Craig Button's final prospect list. (Draft 42nd by Nashville)

"Vlad is a talented forward who can play all three positions. He encompasses an elite skill set but needs to continue to work on his determination and work ethic. He is the kind of guy who can take over games but could also disappear. There's also the Russian factor to consider" assistant GM Bill Guerin replied. 

 With the 72nd pick, the Penguins picked two-way defender Joshua Jacobs (41st to New Jersey). 

"Jacobs is a fabulous rearguard who can handle his own at both ends of the ice. He possesses good speed and decent size. Like most guys his age, he needs to work on his consistency. We expect to take our time on this one. We want him to develop with the Michigan State" mentioned assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald. 

At 87th overall, the Pens took a flyer on forward Axel Holmstrom (196th to Detroit - not sure whether to be mad or happy lol) 

"Axel put up fabulous numbers amongst guys his own age playing in Sweden. He dominated the U18 WJC amassing 11 points in 7 games. We feel like we have a kid who could explode under the right tutilage. He already has an NHL size frame and we are hoping he gets a shot to play with men this year in the SHL. A guy we are wiling to take a chance on" the Pens GM said.  

The Penguins own the rights to all of their picks next year and haven't ruled out whether they keep them or trade them. 

Updated Top 10

1. Seth Jones - Could play in the NEFHL as early as this season. Likely next year... Swag. 

2. Tyler Toffoli - NEFHL ready... Has succeeded in every level he's played at overcoming his size and skating issues... Future 30 goal guy. 

3. Griffin Reinhart - Blossoming into a future franchise defender... Jones and Reinhart = Twin Towers

4. Bo Horvat - Had an impressive year with the Knights... Will try his hand with the Baby Pens... Could be ready next year. 

5. Malcolm Subban - Has all the intangibles needed to be a franchise goalie... needs a few more years. 

6. Mark McNeill - A fiesty forward who can be used in every role. Still growing in the minors but should be contributing in the pros soon. 

7. Radek Faksa - Has the size and skill to be a dynamic player... Does he have the drive? This year will be a big one for him.

8. Alex Petrovic - An absolute force on the blueline.... Working on consistency issues but could be a solid 2nd pairing guy. 

9. Antti Raanta - Had a solid first year in North America... Put up an impressive record while at the helm of the Hawks nets. 

10. Jason Akeson - A kid who has succeeded at every level he has played... should be ready to contibute this time next year. 

HM: Jonas Brodin (graduated), Adam Pelech, Seth Griffith, Scott Harrington, Oskars Sundqvist, Nikolay Prokhorkin, Vladislav Kamenev, Joshua Jacobs