Pittsburgh Penguins: 3 possible selections for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

Dawson Mercer - CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Dawson Mercer - CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The NHL Entry Draft is important every year but this one for the Pittsburgh Penguins will be particularly important. With aging leaders and plenty of RFA’s, an influx of talent is needed.

There are plenty of unknowns out there currently like will the Pittsburgh Penguins or the rest of the NHL even finish the season? Where will the Pens end up in the draft? What will the roster needs be and who will even be available wherever they pick?

There are a lot of mock drafts out there and most of them put Pittsburgh right around the 24th pick in the 1st round. It may not be the top overall pick with loads of known talent, no, late rounders get tricky because a lot of talent comes with a high risk/reward factor.

With all of this in mind, let’s look at a few players, get to know them, and daydream on the future of this franchise just in case the Penguins pick them up when it is there turn to pick in the 1st round of this year’s draft.

Mavrik Bourque

Center, Shawinigan QMJHL

The 2019/2020 season has statistically speaking Mavrik Bourque’s best season of his career which is good timing considering it’s his time to get drafted. In 49 games played he has just over 70 points this season for the Cataractes. He doesn’t have a “high ceiling” but the potential is there for growth over the years.

With that in mind, he is a bit undersized only weighing about 178 pounds. However, don’t let that fool you because he isn’t afraid to track back and get in the face of anyone around him. If the Pens draft Bourque, he could eventually be flanked by Samuel Poulin and Nathan Legare for an all-QMJHL line.

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Dawson Mercer

Right Wing, Chicoutimi, QMJHL

Up next is the right winging Canadian World Junior’s member, Dawson Mercer. The right-handed, 6-foot winger has been a pest for QMJHL defenders all season scoring 24 goals in 42 games this season. Even after being traded by Drummondville midway through the season, he never left his foot off of the gas.

Now, don’t get your hopes up too much because it is doubtful that Mercer would fall this later in the draft but if everything goes right, and he’s still here then the Pens need to swoop him up. Pittsburgh has a high success rate for drafting players from the Q and Mercer would be no different if they can manage to grab him in this year’s draft.

Hendrix Lapierre

Center Chicoutimi, QMJHL

Just like his winger mentioned before him, Hendrix Lapierre hails from the QMJHL and Chicoutimi. Lapierre falls to third on this list because Dawson and Mercer are just smarter picks but don’t second guess him… because if he is available, the Pens need to take him.

Lapierre has put up 17 points in 19 QMJHL games this season but in a more bolstering fashion, he has posted 11 points in just 5 Hlinka Gretzky Cup matches last summer. He has seen a lot of time out due to injuries but combats that will lots of comparisons to a former Stanley Cup winner in Patrice Bergeron.

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The futures are certainly bright and filled with potential for these three CHL players who just coincidentally play in the QMJHL. The Pittsburgh Penguins would be lucky to grab either of these players as they could each quickly move up into full-time action for the Pens.