by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of The Neutral Zone.
Night one of the NHL Draft brought the Pittsburgh Penguins' center, Brayden Yager from Moose Jaw of the WHL. The Penguins had five picks on day two to add even more talent to the organization. Below is Draft 412’s summary of each new Pens prospect and what they may one day bring to the Penguins' lineup.
Emil Pieniniemi - Karpat U20/U20 (3rd rd, 91st overall)
WT- 176 Ibs.
Emil Pieniniemi is a solid two-way defenseman who has good NHL size and the body to add some muscle. He recently went through a growth spurt which affected his balance and skating and has the potential to be a 2nd-3rd pair defenseman. He’s a nice defensive prospect to add to the Penguins' depleted junior ranks.
Mikhail Ilyin- Severstal Cherepovets (KHL)- (5th rd, 142nd overall)
WT- 181 lbs.
Hometown- Cherepovets, Russia
Mikhail Ilyin is a hard working player who can play center or wing. He was invited to play in Russia’s top professional league at the age of 18. He plays a slower style, perhaps better suited for an NHL 4th line role with his skill level. Ilyn is a smooth passer who understands the game and could someday fit into a penalty kill unit for the Pens.
Cooper Foster- Ottawa 67’s (OHL) - (6th rd., 174th overall)
WT- 172 Ibs.
Hometown- Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Cooper Foster has above average passing abilities and would rather pass than shoot on most plays. He’s not a great finisher, but does play a good defensive game, understanding his future role at the professional level may be as a defensive minded forward. He will need to raise his battle level to become a future 4th line center.
Emil Jarventie - Ilves Jr. (Finland,Jr.) (7th rd., 217th overall)
WT- 168 lbs.
Emil Jarventie has a chance to be that special “lottery type” player a team takes in round 7 that eventually makes a name for himself in the league (reminiscent of longtime Pens cup winner, Patric Hornqvist).
Jarventie has some intriguing offensive skills with an accurate shot and playmaking ability. The biggest knock on Jarventie is that he is on the smaller side, and his skating needs to improve. His shot and skills are so strong that early scouting mock drafts rated him as a possible 2nd rounder earlier in the season.
Kalle Kangas- Jokerit Jr. (Finland, Jr.) (7th rd., 223rd overall)
WT- 196 Ibs.
Hometown- Vantaa, Finland
Kalle Kangas is a big defenseman who can make life miserable for opponents. He is a puck moving defenseman that excels in the transition game.
To make the league, he will have to learn to improve his defensive positioning and be more aggressive as he tends to be on his back heels a lot. He’s a project in need of mechanical refinement but a 7th round flyer is the place where picks like Kangas are made.