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NHL Draft 2011: Don't Expect Penguins To Draft For Need

Dave Molinari at the Post-Gazette warns us about the dangers of speculating about who the Penguins will pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.

Because the Penguins, barring a trade, will have the 23rd selection in the opening round, they’ll figure to go into Round 1 Friday evening at the Xcel Energy Center with a list of about a half-dozen guys they hope/expect will be there after the first 22 teams have chosen. One thing seems fairly certain: When a team is picking that late, it isn’t expecting to get immediate help from the draft. Consequently, the Penguins figure to go for – you guessed it – the best player available, regardless of position.

Well, right. This isn't the Pirates picking with the first overall pick in the draft, where the amount of speculation one can do about who they'll select is something less than infinite. It also isn't the Steelers, who picked near the end of the first round of the NFL Draft but who at least were selecting from among a group of players who might be expected to fill team needs fairly soon. There is no reason for the Penguins to draft for need, and because they're picking so late in the draft, no way for us to know who will be available to them, or what their top choices are.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.