Courtesy of Point Park University

Scouts’ pre-draft views on Penguins revisited


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Sidney Crosby. -- QMJHL

I thought it would be fun to look back at what NHL Central Scouting and other prospect ranking organizations said about some current and former Penguins before they were drafted or turned pro.

Some scouting reports are still pretty spot on -- Sidney Crosby is all that was promised and more. Other reports show how much a player has grown -- I don't think anyone is calling Patric Hornqvist physically weak anymore.

Drafted first round, No. 1 overall by Penguins in 2005

"An exceptional skater with a smooth stride, tremendous balance and agility ... he has great speed to the outside and can also split the defense carrying the puck or receiving passes for clear breakaways ... very quick off the mark with tremendous acceleration ... his vision is unparalleled ... can feed wings from anywhere in the offensive zone both forehand and backhand and set them up for scoring chances ... uses the hard crisp pass and puts it on the tape every time ... can also use the soft flip pass effectively ... his leg strength and stamina allows him to be the first on the puck and many times be the first guy back to help the defense on transition ... blessed with natural scoring instincts, he can score many ways and always seem to be in the clear to receive passes and turn them into scoring chances ... needless to say he has great hockey sense; can play any position ... can control the power play ... good on face-offs ... can shoot the puck hard with the slap shot or use his quick and very accurate wrist shot ... his backhand is as good as the forehand ... competes every shift, works hard but makes it look easy, and plays with discipline ... not adversely affected by physical play ... takes many hits to make a play, and will retaliate, which he has to do often because of the close checking ... has the ability to fight through tight checking and makes it look easy sometimes ... unselfish player who plays all game situations ... logs a lot of ice time ... at home or on the road, does not matter to him; plays with great poise ... possesses great leadership qualities, desire and determination ... will strip opponents of the puck rather than punish with the body ... first overall pick in the 2003 QMJHL draft ... member of Team Canada at the 2004 and 2005 U-20 World Championships ... won the past two QMJHL scoring championships ... beat the all-time assists record set by Denis Savard ... selected to the QMJHL's first all-star team the past two seasons ... CHL player of the year and rookie of the year in 2003-04 ... selected as the QMJHL's MVP this season." -- Central Scouting

Drafted first round, No. 2 overall by Penguins in 2004

“Good, strong skater with fine balance and agility. Has a good change of pace. Excellent stickhandler and a smart player. Good, smooth hands and an excellent playmaker. Carries the puck with confidence. Has a quick, accurate wrist and slap shot. Can score in many ways. Outstanding hockey sense. Creative player. Works hard on every shift. A good competitor who can play both a finesse and physical game. Competes hard for the puck and is willing to pay the price to score or set up a goal. Played on Team Russia at the Under-18 World Junior championships. Had a fair World Junior tournament with Team Russia in 2004. Played better as a regular with top team Magnitogorsk in the Russian league. Great mix of size, skills and hockey sense. A leader on the ice. Has all the tools needed for a great career.” -- Central Scouting

Drafted third round, No. 62 overall by Penguins in 2005

“The question for him is whether his tremendous skating and smarts overcome his lack of size. He has exceptional footwork and, frankly, much better hockey sense than his more-publicized defensive partner (Luc Bourdon), particularly in the offensive zone. He's a very smart PP quarterback and plays a clean, efficient, mistake-free game. He's a very subtle player, but very underrated. His poise under pressure, neat spin moves and great puck movement decisions give him a good shot to overcome the size handicap.” -- Red Line Report

Drafted seventh round, No. 230 overall by Predators in 2005

"Hornqvist is an offensive player who may lack some foot speed… he has a good nose for the net and is always dangerous… he is willing to pay the price and goes to the dirty areas to dig for pucks… keeps it simple and lets his wrister off quickly… has good hockey sense and positioning in the offensive zone… is a solid puckhandler who has the ability to create space for himself… is weak and has to add leg- and upper-body strength… has to work on his skating which is holding him back." -- Hockey's Future

Drafted first round, No. 19 overall by Panthers in 2010

“He’s further along and more polished than (Boston’s Blake) Wheeler. He’s also a better skater than David Backes was at the same age (17). The only difference is Backes was thicker, but the ingredients are there. He wants the puck and wants to make plays. He’s a blue-collar type kid who works his tail off.” -- Central Scouting

Drafted first round, No. 24 overall by Canucks in 2014

“Jared is a highly skilled and creative playmaker, he has excellent hands and puckhandling ability. He sees the ice very well and can get the puck through traffic with great saucer passes. He is not a guy who will always bring you out of your seat but is dangerous every shift, and at the end of the game he will quietly have a goal and three assists. Jared is an excellent penalty killer, smart and reads the play very well.” -- Central Scouting

Drafted first round, No. 3 overall by Panthers in 2010

“Gudbranson to me is a guaranteed long-term NHLer. In my opinion, Gudbranson is another Chris Pronger-type, what he brings that (Pronger) really didn't do much of, though, is he'll fight. He is some kind of tough. Chris Pronger is mean and will hit you; Gudbranson will hit you and fight you. Pronger is three inches taller than Gudbranson, so maybe Dion Phaneuf would be an even better comparison" -- Central Scouting

Drafted second round, No. 51 overall by Hurricanes in 2009

“Dumoulin is a big (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) powerful, mobile kid who is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. He took a quantum leap forward this season with some good coaching and development in the Monarchs' program, and has all the physical tools you could ask for. He's got quick feet for a big man and a booming shot.” -- Red Line Report

Drafted second round, No. 44 overall by Penguins in 2013

"He's not a cookie-cutter goalie and doesn't just drop in the butterfly; he'll stand up and read the play and possesses good rebound control. He looks like a veteran. His smartness and confidence are what have helped him improve and develop his overall game." -- Central Scouting

Drafted first round, No. 1 overall by Penguins in 2003

“Top-ranked North American goaltending prospect backstopped Canada to the silver medal with a spectacular performance at the World Junior Championships, leading the tournament with a 1.57 goals-against average and finishing third with a .928 save percentage. His carefree personality has prompted some to compare him to Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur. Some scouts believe he could join Rick DiPietro of the New York Islanders as the only goalies taken with the top overall pick. Like Brodeur, he likes to move the puck to teammates. And like so many French-Canadian goalies, he employs the butterfly style. He also has the ability to recover quickly in scramble situations and control rebounds.” -- Central Scouting

Drafted first round, No. 20 overall by Penguins in 2010

"He's got velvet hands and a lightning-quick release on his shot. He has radar vision and can lay a pass down as good as anyone in this draft. Deceptive skater and can be elusive in the corners slipping checks." -- Central Scouting

Drafted first round, No. 5 overall by Bruins in 2006

"Is a very fast and quick skater who often surprises opponents with an extra gear … with outstanding breakaway speed he can carry the puck and separate himself from pursuers in an instant and can turn an opponent inside out one-on-one … has a heavy accurate shot and very quick hands when releasing his wrist shot at top speed … can beat a goaltender in many ways and is an excellent passer and playmaker who can find his man in traffic or open ice with ease … has the ability to go end-to-end and bring fans to the edge of their seats … is excellent on the power-play and a threat to score when killing penalties … is good on face-offs and capable of using his offensive instincts to determine the outcome of a game … he wants the puck when the game is on the line and while not overly physical he does not shy away from the corners and along the boards … protects the puck well with his body and has strong persistent pursuit of the puck … has become more reliable in his defensive play this season … became USA Hockey’s National Team development program all-time leader in career goals with 104 and points with 180 in the 2004-05 season … has played on two U.S. World Junior Teams and in 2005-06 was selected rookie of the year in the WCHA and was selected to the all-rookie team while playing for the U. of Minnesota." -- Central Scouting

Drafted first round, No. 2 overall by Penguins in 2006

"Is a perimeter forward who is an excellent skater with a wide base style that makes him solid on his skates ... has a long fluid stride with very good agility and speed ... uses his tremendous size and long reach to protect the puck very well ... possesses a powerful shot both slap and wrist that he gets off quickly and accurately ... sees the ice very well and is able to move the puck through traffic with hard or soft passes as the situation calls for both on the forehand and backhand ... is an excellent face-off man, who seldom loses a draw, and is often used to take important face offs ... has the ability to tie up the opposing center and use his feet to kick the puck back but also wins many draws cleanly ... at times during the season he was used on the point of the power-play and is also an excellent penalty killer ... uses his long reach very well to block the passing lanes ... gives a solid two-way effort and is a quiet type of competitor who uses very good anticipation and hockey sense rather than physical strength to be effective defensively ... not a punishing type of player but does get involved in traffic and is able to separate opponents from the puck ... was a member of Team Canada for the 2005 Junior World Cup ... was voted to the 2006 CHL Top Prospects game in Ottawa ... voted to the OHL All-Star game in Belleville ... older brother Eric plays for the Carolina Hurricanes; brother Marc was a 1st round pick of the New York Rangers in 2005." -- Central Scouting

Drafted first round, No. 22 overall by Penguins in 2012

“Supremely consistent, smooth-skating defenseman with a fine combination of size and hockey sense. An excellent skater with quick feet to contain opposing forwards. Shows a quick and active stick to disrupt passing lanes. Extremely aware and alert with his head on a swivel around net. Willing to use the body and mix it up in corners, and takes hits to make the right plays with the puck. Even will drop the gloves when required. Outstanding competitive spirit. Moves the puck crisply and efficiently out of the zone with great outlets. Was not overly creative or aggressive at the offensive end during regular season, but finally hit his stride at the right time, playing all-world in the postseason and leading the young Knights to an OHL crown. Picks his spots well, smartly jumping into the offense. Shot lacks velocity, but distributes well on the PP. Projection: Strong two-way, No. 3 defender. Style compares to: Brent Seabrook.” -- Red Line Report

Drafted first round, No. 6 overall by Blue Jackets in 2006

"Is a very good skater with speed and mobility who is strong on his feet with good acceleration ... changes direction quickly in tight quarters and can carry the puck end-to-end ...playing at very high skill level he is a great playmaker that can score as well ... sees the ice and reads the play smartly with very good decision making in all areas of the ice ... can beat defenders one-on-one and has very accurate wrist and slap shots ... plays center and the point on power-plays ... can strip the puck away with his quick and aggressive forecheck ... works very hard killing penalties where he is always a threat to score ... he just loves to play hockey and competes every game, making many good plays deep in his own end to help get puck out when his defensemen get in trouble ... while he is not a physical player, he takes the body when necessary and shows good anticipation to break up plays ... is quick to loose pucks – does not hesitate to take the puck directly through traffic to the net ... Drummondville ‘s second pick in the 2003-04 QMJHL draft, 18th overall ... selected to play in 2006 Top Prospects Game in Ottawa ... selected to the Quebec All-Star team for Canada- Russia Challenge – member of Canada’s 2004-05 Under 18 team ... a member of Team Quebec in the 2004 Under-17 world hockey challenge." -- Central Scouting

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