Penguins bolster forward depth, add a defenseman to finish off draft

By Brian Metzer

There was much in the wind on Friday night involving the Pittsburgh Penguins, but by the end of Saturday the team hadn’t pulled the trigger on any additional deals, but did come away with four additional prospects.

They wanted to bolster the forward depth in the organization and they accomplished that, while also adding a defenseman in the final round.

They continued the trend started in round one with the selection of Kasperi Kapanen through their fourth, fifth and sixth round picks selecting forwards with each selection.

The good news about each player drafted — they’re all 6-foot-0 tall or bigger.

Here is a quick capsule on each of the Penguins selections on Saturday afternoon.

Round 4 – Sam Lafferty –  C/LW – 6-foot-0 – 187 pounds – Deerfield Academy

I had some trouble finding a ton of information on this selection, though he played Deerfield the past three seasons, he will be suiting up for the Tri-City Storm of the USHL next year. He was not drafted in the USHL, but made the team out of a tryout camp. He was the 184th ranked US Skater via Central Scouting. In viewing some footage of his game online, it appears that he had a nose for the net and had some decent one-on-one skills. Will provide more details on Lafferty as we get them.

Lafferty has progressed in his offensive production in each of his three seasons at Deerfield Academy. He recorded 16 points (8G-8A) in 25 games in the 11-12 season, jumping to 24 points (9G-15A) in 24 games in 12-13 and finally capping his Deerfield Academy career with 55 points (21G-34A) in 25 games this season.

Round 5 – Anthony Angello – C – 6-foot-04 – 190 pounds – Omaha Lancers (USHL)

Hockey Prospects Black Book had a nice write up on Angello and here it is. There are some intriguing aspects to this selection, while at the same time a few flags that speak to the fact that he needs to do some developing if he wants to impact the next level.

Left wanting more; that’s the thought that comes to mind when viewing Anthony Angello. Some nights you see exactly what you wanted to see, and others you see nothing at all and he is hardly noticeable. Finding consistency is key to Angello’s development going forward, but the tools are all there for him to one day become an NHL player. Angello is a big, fast moving body and is a bear to stop and defend when he’s bearing down on you at full speed. Excellent speed, great length and stride, quick, mobile feet and slick, crafty hands to top it all off, Angello has everything necessary physically to be a dominating power forward. Good offensive instincts and awareness. Finds the holes and soft spots on the ice in coverage. He has a very good shot and a nose for the net when motivated, but therein lies part of the rub. For someone with the size and skills he has, one would expect much better, more consistent offensive production than was the case this season. Needs to learn how to use line mates better and not try to do so much solo. Defensively, he uses that speed and frame to deliver punishing checks. He is a big hitter, and has a knack for lining players up in open ice and dropping them. Has elements of a mean streak and never passes up an opportunity to plant someone. Good on faceoffs and decent defensively, however, can get caught being passive at times in the defensive zone. Questionable decision making on occasion on both sides of the puck.

For someone so big and skilled, it is hard to wrap your head around someone like that being capable of completely disappearing on some nights. There were some games this season where he was extremely noticeable, but others where you wouldn’t know he was even taking shifts and everything in between. He needs to find consistency to his game not only on a night in, night out basis, but even shift to shift within a game. If he can put it all together the sky is the limit for him. He is expected to return to Omaha for one more season before heading to Cornell University in 2015.

Round 6 – Jaden Lindo – RW – 6-foot-1 – 201 pounds – Owen Sound (OHL)

The ISS describes Lindo’s NHL potential as being a bottom six forward, but everything about him screams heart and soul player. Here is the ISS breakdown on the right winger.

Skill: Extremely energetic and versatile role player who will go through the wall to make a play for his team.

Scouting Report: ISS Scouts loved Lindo early in the season but a rash of injuries, including a season-ending knee injury derailed his season. Lack of exposure aside, Lindo is a beat on the ice. He consistently dictates the pace of play and plays with pure energy and heart. He is not going to lead his team in scoring but he is going to create pressure that leads his team to improved possession time and more space to operate on the ice. He has a good powerful stride and is not easy to knock off balance. He reads and anticipates the game extremely well away from the puck and never backs down physically. Lindo is an unsung hero almost every shift and he should reap the rewards of that as he continues to develop.

ISS Scout R. MacLean: “Lindo is a coach’s dream. There really is nothing he won’t do for his team. His offensive skills could use work but he is an impact player in other ways with reliable consistency.”

ISS Scout P. Myre: “Hard working, physical player with good size and strength. Competes, strong forechecker. Hard to play against. Needs to improve puck skills and speed and quickness.”

Round 7 – Jeff Taylor – D – 6-foot-0 – 180 pounds – Union College

Here is a Taylor’s write up from the Union College website.

2013-14 (FR)
Named to ECACH Media Association All-Rookie Team … ranked 14th among ECAC Hockey defensemen in conference scoring (nine points) … led Union rookie defensemen in scoring (16 points) and blocked shots (26) … finished a +20 – sixth-best on the team … strung together a four-game points streak (11/15-12/1) … scored first collegiate goal with a slapshot at Dartmouth (11/1) … registered a goal, three shots and a block in 5-4 win at Penn State (11/30) … scored a goal in Union’s Cleary Cup-clinching win against Clarkson (2/21) … logged two assists in 4-3 win over #10 Rensselaer (11/15) … assisted on Union’s opening goal in the NCAA Championship Game (4/12) … factored in seven shutouts.

Spent 2012-13 season, recording 27 points (five goals, 22 assists) in 57 games … helped Dubuque to a Clark Cup Championship … played prep hockey at Albany Academy.

Liberal arts major … graduated from Albany Academy (2013) … son of Angela and Scott Taylor … born April 13, 1994.