Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Kasperi Kapanen poses for a photo with team officials after being selected as the number twenty-two overall pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins Have Three Players In ESPN's Top 100 NHL Prospects

The Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to infuse some of their youth into the roster this season, and a few of them are being recognized as premium talents.

According to ESPN insider Corey Pronman, Pens’ defensemen Scott Harrington and Derrick Pouliot, and forward Kasperi Kapanen were all reportedly listed within ESPN’s Top 100 NHL prospect rankings.

In looking at where they all rank, Pronman has Kapanen listed higher than Pouliot, who’s widely regarded as the Pens’ top prospect. This goes to show you why Kapanen is viewed as a potential NHL player at just 18-years-old. Almost all three of them crack the top-50.

Here’s how they rank, per Pronman:

  • Kapanen, No. 15
  • Pouliot, No. 29
  • Harrington, No. 54

Despite being the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) best defenseman, Pouliot seems to have lost some luster with the arrival of 2014 first-round selection (22nd overall) Kapanen. The Finnish forward has arguably a better shot at making the Pens’ roster than Pouliot, due to Pouliot’s offseason shoulder surgery, and Pronman has Kapanen rated a full 14 spots higher than Pouliot.

Harrington also comes as sort of a surprise because, perhaps, people didn’t see him as that valuable. Drafted in the second-round (54th overall) in 2012 – which is a little ironic – some scouts believe Harrington will be more effective than Pouliot, per William DePaoli of Inside Pittsburgh Sports. So, it explains why Harrington nearly made the top-50 in Pronman’s rankings.

Either way, Pittsburgh has some prospects that are expected to make an exceptional impact at the NHL level. And, some are close to making their NHL debut.

The question is: when?

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