PENGUINS SELECT BRAYDEN YAGER AT 14TH OVERALL
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Pittsburgh Penguins selected forward Brayden Yager with the 14th overall pick of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville, Tennessee.
Playing out of the Western Hockey League, Yager led the Moose Jaw Warriors with 50 assists as an 18-year-old. He also ranked second on the team with 78 points.
A right-handed shot who primarily plays center, the native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is a smart playmaker who knows how to string together highlight-reel passes. His skating ability is rooted in power, as he gallops in open ice. Yager boasts “eplosive linear and lateral crossovers” according to HockeyProspect.com.
His hard and accurate shot wows scouts as well. Yager can find the soft spots to unload or combine his speed and shooting for lethal shots on the rush. The 5-foot-11 forward produced an impressive 34 goals in his rookie season with the Warriors, but took a slight step back to 28 tallies this year.
Moose Jaw’s stay in the WHL Playoffs was brief, but Yager managed to rack up 16 points (6G-10A) in 10 postseason games.
Per the NHL’s agreement with the CHL, Yager will not be eligible to play in the AHL until the 2025-26 season, when he is 20 years old.
This was Pittsburgh’s highest pick since the team traded for the 8th overall selection at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. That pick was used to select defenseman Derrick Pouliot.
Barring trades, the Penguins still have five picks remaining in this year’s draft. Pittsburgh does not have a second-round pick as a result of the Mikael Granlund trade this past March, but the team still has selections in the third (90th overall), fifth (142nd overall), sixth (174th overall) and seventh rounds (217th and 223rd overall).
Rounds two through seven will take place tomorrow, Thursday, June 29, starting at 11:00 a.m. ET.