The Penguins' final selection of the 2019 draft was Finnish defenseman Santeri Airola, after the Penguins made a trade with the Sharks to acquire the seventh-round pick.
What kind of a player did the Penguins get in Airola? Let’s take a look.
Airola, 19, is a 5-foot-11, 165-pound right-handed defenseman. He spent last season in the Finnish SaiPa organization. He played 10 games for SaiPa's Junior B U18 team, recording four goals and 11 assists. He spent most of the season with SaiPa's Junior A U20 team, scoring four goals and 27 assists in 41 games. He made his professional debut with the main SaiPa team in Liiga, the top Finnish men's league. He was scoreless and recorded a minus-1 rating in three Liiga games.
"Airola was a guy that our European scouts were excited he was still available in the seventh round," said Penguins director of amateur scouting Patrik Allvin. "He's a late-bloomer. Skilled defenseman, a real good skater. That was a good flip to get him in the seventh."
Airola is an agile, puck-moving defenseman who is especially strong at zone exits. In this clip, he used his speed to move the puck up ice and pick up an assist: