Courtesy of Point Park University

Who are the Penguins’ scouts? ☕


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Penguins European scout PETRI PAKASLAHTI. -- Esa Urhonen

The Penguins' amateur and European scouts have been hard at work for more than a year now preparing for this summer's NHL draft, June 21 and 22 in Vancouver.

Who are the Penguins' scouts, and what are their backgrounds? Let's take a look:

Director of amateur scouting

Allvin is in his 13th year with the Penguins, and in his second year as the Penguins' director of amateur scouting.

Allvin, 44, first began working in scouting with the Canadiens in 2002-03 as a European scout, a role he held for four seasons. He joined the Penguins in the same capacity in 2006-07, and was promoted to the director of European scouting in 2012-13, holding that title until being promoted to his current position.

Before becoming a scout, Allvin played professionally as a defenseman, mainly in his native Sweden. He played two seasons in the ECHL from 1995-97 with the Atlanta Knights and Pensacola Ice Pilots.

Amateur scout

Alexander is in his fourth season as an amateur scout with the Penguins. He's a crossover scout, meaning he visits different regions of hockey. Alexander's perspective is beneficial when compiling the final draft board. While a QMJHL scout will be an expert on QMJHL players and an OHL scout will be an expert on OHL players, it may be hard to compare a player from one league to the other. Crossover scouts spend time watching all leagues to help in those comparisons.

His specialty is the WHL, however. He was previously a scout for the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds for 19 seasons, and then the Thunderbirds' director of scouting for two seasons. He did not play professionally.

Amateur scout

Fitzgerald has been around for quite a while -- 13 seasons -- all as an amateur scout. When the Penguins hired him in 2006, it was his first scouting job. He is based out of Michigan.

Amateur scout

Gauthier, 55, has been an amateur scout for the Penguins for 11 seasons, first hired in 2008-09. His focus is on the QMJHL. Before joining the Penguins, Gauthier was an amateur scout for six years -- three with the Avalanche and three with the Predators.

Before he was a scout, Gauthier was an assistant coach for the AHL's Fredericton Canadiens from 1993-97.

Gauthier was a defenseman in his playing days, and an undersized one at just 5-foot-9. He made his professional debut in 1985 with the Flint Generals of the IHL. He played for the Canadiens' AHL affiliate from 1986-93, and appeared in three games with Montreal during that time. Although he retired as a player in 1993 to coach the same team, he played two games in his final year as coach of Fredericton.

Amateur scout

Golden is in his fifth season as an amateur scout with the Penguins, his first scouting job. He did not play professionally.

Amateur scout

Heinbuck, 56, has worked in hockey for a long time. He was hired by the Penguins in 2006-07 as the director of amateur scouting, and has worked as an amateur scout for the past four seasons.

Heinbuck was an amateur scout with the Islanders for four seasons before being hired by the Penguins. Before he got into scouting, Heinbuck was an assistant coach for St. Lawrence University for 11 years and an assistant coach for Northeastern University for one year.

Heinbuck never played professionally, but was a forward at Northeastern for four years.

Amateur scout

Huffman, 46, is in his second year as an amateur scout with the Penguins. Before being hired by the Penguins, he was the assistant general manager and director of player personnel for the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers for two years. He was an assistant coach for the NAHL's Austin Bruins for four years.

Amateur scout

McLean is in his first year with the Penguins, focusing on the WHL. He was previously a scout for the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds for four seasons. The Thunderbirds won the WHL championship in 2016-17, his final year with the team.

Amateur scout

Torres is in his third year with the Penguins, focusing on the OHL. He previously worked in junior hockey in Ontario for nine years as a scout with the OHL's Peterborough Petes, a video coach with the Kingston Frontenacs, and an assistant coach in a Junior A league.

Torres also works as a trainer.

Amateur scout

Young, 63, has been an amateur scout with the Penguins since 2012. His last hockey job before scouting was as assistant coach for the Nailers in the 2002-03 season. He was an ECHL head coach in Louisville for six years over two stints in the ’90s.

Young, a left winger, played nine professional seasons. He was signed by the Penguins in 1983, and had a 40-goal season in 1984-85 while playing on a line with a rookie by the name of Mario Lemieux. He signed with the Red Wings in 1985, but was traded back to the Penguins a year later. He retired in 1988.

European amateur scout

Rauhala, 46, is in his first year with the Penguins, and focuses on junior hockey in Sweden. He was previously the general manager of Olofströms IK in 2014-15, a Division I team in his native Sweden.

Rauhala was a center in his playing days. He primarily played in Sweden, but made stops in Russia, Italy and England.

European scout

Pakaslahti, 43, is his fourth season as a European scout with the Penguins. From 2016-18, he was also the sports manager for Espoo in Finland's second-tier professional league.

Pakaslahti had a 15-year professional career as a center. He played in the top men's league in his native Finland for 11 years, split between Lukko and Jokerit. He played three full seasons in the SHL before being forced to retire during his fourth year due to a nagging groin injury.

European scout

Westlund, 44, has been a European scout with the Penguins since 2011. It was his first scouting job.

Westlund, a right winger, played four professional seasons in his native Sweden from 1995-98 before moving to North America. He played for the Beast of New Haven (yes, that's the actual team name) in the AHL for one season, then was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes for three full seasons. He played for the Lowell Lock Monsters of the AHL in 2002-03, as well as three games with the Hurricanes. Westlund returned to the SHL for the 2003-04 season, and played 14 games before he was forced to retire due to a wrist injury.

Westlund was the Penguins scout who discovered Juuso Riikola in Finland.

Special assignment scout

Meloche has worked for the Penguins for a long time. He worked as a goaltending coach/consultant and amateur scout from 1989-06, and then was a full-time goaltending coach from 2006 until he stepped down in 2013.

Meloche played 788 NHL games over 18 seasons, including three with the Penguins from 1985-88.

Special assignment scout

Stevens, 54, was hired in 2017 as a special assignment scout with a focus on amateur scouting and the scouting of college free agents. Stevens previously worked for the Penguins from 2005-12 as a pro scout.

You probably remember him as a player.

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