VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Jim Rutherford said a week ago that the Penguins had a list of five or six promising prospects they believed might be available when it's their turn to choose in Round 1 of the NHL Draft Friday evening at Rogers Arena.
As of Thursday, that list hadn't changed.
At least, the number of players on it hadn't. Members of the front office, however, continue to guard the potential picks’ identities as if they were Mario Lemieux's financial records.
Forget names. People inside the organization aren't even inclined to divulge the positions at which those players perform.
That is, of course, understandable, because if other teams believed they knew exactly who the Penguins are hoping to add to their organizational depth chart, they might try to extort a draft choice or some other form of compensation from Rutherford in return for not selecting that player before the Penguins have a chance to.
Because, unlike NFL clubs, NHL teams almost never draft to fill an immediate need, and assessing the Penguins' organizational depth chart really doesn't give any indication of who they hope to add in the opening round.
Instead, they are likely to go with their best-rated prospect, regardless of position, when it's their turn.
And because they have a cluster of players holding their interest, there's a chance they'll be willing to move down in the draft order if they can still get one of their targets while picking up an asset from another team that covets the No. 21 slot.