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Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Brayden Yager skating in a pre-season game for the Penguins.
Photo credit: NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins top prospect is revealed

Published May 6, 2024 at 2:04 PM
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With the end of the 2023-24 season for the Penguins, their top prospects have been evaluated and the top guy is now revealed.

Overall, the Penguins do have good positional players that can make the transition to the NHL. Looking that the group, we may not have the next Sidney Crosby ready to come up and save the team from their two-year playoff draught, but there is some players to get excited about in the pipeline. Here are a handful of the top 15, with the full list in the link below.

One thing to note is that within the top six, two of the prospects were received from the Jake Guentzel trade. Ville Koivunen (6) and Vasily Ponomaryov (4) bring some talent to the Penguins that are already ready for some possible AHL/NHL action. Koivunen playing for Karpat (Liiga) had 56 points (22G, 34A) in 59 games. He is considered the top talent of the prospects for that trade.




Ponomaryov did have some AHL action during the 2023-24 season. He had 30 points combined with Tucson, Chicago and the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

Some familar names are also within the top 5 prospects. Coming in at five is Sam Poulin. Although he did get his feet wet this season with three games (zero points) with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he played in 41 games with Wilkes-Barre and had 31 points.

Poulin was a first-round pick in 2019, and with 31 less games played this year, he matched his career in goals scored with 16 last season. Poulin could have a chance to prove himself more with Pittsburgh after signing his new two-year contract.


Coming in at number three is Joel Blomqvist who had an incredible year in net for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He went 25-12-6 with a 2.16 GAA and a .921 SV%. In his first full year with the baby Pens, he received All-Star accolades and helped to get the Penguins to the AHL playoffs. With the uncertainty of the Pittsburgh goalies, Blomqvist could be playing in Pittsburgh as a back-up very soon.


Second year captain of the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League is also the number two prospect, defenseman Owen Pickering. He played in 59 games and scored 46 points with some solid defense.

But the top guy for the Penguins is the 19-year-old playing with the Moose Jaw Warriors, the Pens first round pick of the 2023 season and 14th overall, center Brayden Yager.

In 57 games he scored 95 points (35G, 60A) as he teared up the WHL. He has a strong shot and great hockey IQ. His strong play has also helped the Warriors in the playoffs, and as of May 5th, Yager has 20 points in 14 playoff games helping the Moose Jaw into the Western Conference finals for the Memorial Cup.


Yager has also won his second WHL sportsmanship award this year. With Yager and many other's within the organization, the Penguins have some players who should help to make a difference on the team in the future.

As Read On: The Hockey Writers -
Pittsburgh Penguins 2023-24 Final Prospect Rankings
POLL
May 6   |   40 answers
Pittsburgh Penguins top prospect is revealed

Who do you think will be the best Penguins prospect?

Brayden Yager2152.5 %
Owen Pickering25 %
Joel Blomqvist1537.5 %
Someone else25 %
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