Pittsburgh Penguins 2012 NHL Draft Picks: Grades, Results and Analysis

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Pittsburgh Penguins 2012 NHL Draft Picks: Grades, Results and Analysis
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero is looking for depth in this year's draft.

As the 2011-12 regular season was coming to a close, many around the NHL thought the Pittsburgh Penguins were peaking at the right time.

They had endured an injury-plagued season in which the team had remained secure in its playoff position. Once the playoffs were within sight, the team started to get healthy again. Sidney Crosby returned from concussion-related problems, and any time you get the best player in hockey back in your lineup, that’s a huge addition to your roster.

Star defenseman Kris Letang was also rounding into top form, and Evgeni Malkin was having an MVP-type season. While the Penguins could not overtake the Rangers in the Atlantic Division and they finished as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, it seemed like the Penguins had the most talented roster in the East and that it would be very difficult to beat them in the playoffs.

They may have been talented, but the team concept seemed to go wanting once the playoffs started. The offense was productive, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury picked the wrong time to go on his walkabout, and the Penguins were shockingly eliminated in the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Penguins made headlines by trading Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek, but they also had 9 draft picks. The Staal trade netted them an extra first-round pick.

Read on for analysis of the Penguins selections.

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