Pittsburgh Penguins: 5 Reasons the Pens Will Win the Stanley Cup in 2016

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Dec 15, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman

Brian Dumoulin

(8) moves the puck in front of goalie

Marc-Andre Fleury

(29) against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

3. Young, Impactful Players

Aside from the fact that these young players can give you some much needed cap relief, the Pittsburgh Penguins are stacked with young talent that can contribute in a big way.

We haven’t yet witnessed the potential of Kasperi Kapanen or Oskar Sundqvist, but we’ll get a great look at them when training camp rolls around. Kapanen has shown the ability to produce points in the AHL so far, and if that translates to the NHL the top-six immediately gets better.

The defensive corps, however, is where the biggest impact will be. The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without the services of Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff next season. But, they’ll likely see the return of Olli Maatta and Kris Letang. Remember, they added Ian Cole at the trade deadline and have Derrick Pouliot and Brian Dumoulin ready to step in and play big minutes.

This is a group that could surprise a lot of people next season, and they’ll do so with multiple entry-level and bridge contracts that occupy very little salary cap. Beyond those mentioned, the prospect pool is shallow and needs replenished badly. But for the moment, it’s time to take advantage of these young legs.