The long overdue youth movement in Pittsburgh is in full swing. With six picks in the first three rounds, the Penguins are hoping to make this year count. It is no secret that the Penguins are doing what they can within the confines of league rules to ensure the highest lottery odds this year. With studs like Alexis Lafreniere, Lucas Raymond, Quiton Byfield, Alexander Holtz, Anton Lundell, Cole Perfetti, and Tim Stutzle eligible for selection, the team is doing what they can to ensure that one of these guys ends up in a black and gold sweater.
In the interim, the team has a handful of talent that is looking to make the jump as soon as next year. The Penguins have tentatively 5-6 roster spots to fill and here is a look at the guys who will be fighting for those spots.
Nikolai Prokhorkin - the Russian pivot has finally landed in the North America. He has made a smooth transition to pros, knotting 4 goals and 6 dimes in 20 NHL games. The Penguins have high hopes for the young, offensive dynamo.
Isac Lundestrom - after spending some time in the AHL, Lunderstrom looks to have secured a spot with the NHL Ducks. The Swedish winger has 2 apples through seven games and has seen success playing alongside Maxime Comtois.
Brett Howden - has been used in more of a defensive role. Look for Howden to be killing penalties for the Penguins next season. With more seasoning and an increased workload, the hope is that he continues to develop his confidence in the offensive zone.
Carson Soucy - it took a while for Soucy to earn his stripes, but the 25 year old defender seems to have been worth the wait. He has an impressive 5 goals and 5 assists through 36 games this season with the NHL Wild. It is expected that he will be logging third pairing minutes next year.
David Gustafsson - has been played sparingly in 4th line role. Could be a viable depth call up.
Zack MacEwen - has impressed the NHL Canucks staff. Definitely call up material.