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NHL Draft 2011: Five Pittsburgh-Area Players Prepare For Draft

The Trib has a good rundown of the local players who could be taken in the upcoming NHL Draft: Brandon Saad, John Gibson, J.T. Miller, Vincent Trocheck and Barrett Saib.

The two of those most likely to be first-round picks are Saad and Gibson. Saad has fallen down draft boards due to injury struggles this season, and he could be a mid- to late first round pick. Gibson is likely a late first round pick, or maybe a second-rounder, due to the fact that goalies are hard to project. Miller and Trocheck are likely to be second-rounders.

I'm not sure about Saib, who I haven't heard a lot about, but it sounds like he could be a late-round pick.

Could the Penguins pick one of these guys? One never knows:

Given that the Penguins have an abundance of American players in their system, it's not a reach to suggest that general manager Ray Shero will draft one of the local players.

The Penguins need some wingers, after all.

The Pens, though, won't draft a winger just because they need one, particularly not in the first round. And we'll have to see whether Saad is even available to them - he could be gone by the time pick No. 23 rolls around.

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