Courtesy of Point Park University

Penguins (finally) come up small with first seventh-rounder


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Valtteri Puustinen. -- HPK

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Penguins' run on physical wingers ended with the first of their two seventh-round selections in the NHL Draft Saturday.

After selecting three players with better-than-average size for 18-year-olds, they spent a seventh-rounder on Finnish left winger Valtteri Puustinen.

He stands 5-feet-9, 179 pounds and had 10 goals and three assists in 47 games with HPK of the Finnish Liiga in 2018-19.

"He played real well at the world juniors," said Patrik Allvin, the Penguins' director of scouting. "He's been a little bit of a late bloomer. He was a really strong finisher in the playoffs. We're excited about him."

Part of the reason for that might be that success seems to follow Puustinen around. He not only helped Finland to win a gold medal at the world juniors, but was part of HPK's championship club, as he contributed two goals and three assists in 16 games during the postseason.

Two Penguins prospects, Niclas Almari and Emil Larmi, were his teammates with HPK.

Puustinen, 20, went undrafted during his first two years of eligibility, and is under contract to HPK for next season.

The Penguins' other four picks:

Samuel Poulin
Nathan Legare
Judd Caulfield
Santeri Airola


[caption id="attachment_846339" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] NHL Draft weekend, Vancouver, British Columbia, June 21-22, 2019 - DEJAN KOVACEVIC / DKPS[/caption]

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