6. Joshua Maniscalco
The Pittsburgh Penguins were able to sign undrafted defenseman Joshua Maniscalco to a three-year, Entry-Level Contract this summer, and as of now it appears to be a great decision. The 21-year-old has spent the last two seasons playing at Arizona State University. While his freshman season was just okay with 20 points in 35 games, he really picked it up this past year with 11 goals and 32 points in 36 games.
Given the offensive skill he has shown over the past few seasons, it is somewhat surprising Maniscalco went undrafted, but the Penguins certainly aren’t complaining. He too will likely spend the 2020-21 season with the WBS while he adjusts to the professional game. If he is able to continue creating offence like he did at the collegiate level, we should see him getting some reps in at the NHL level sooner than later.
5. Pierre-Olivier Joseph
When the Penguins decided to trade Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes during the 2019 offseason, they received forward Alex Galchenyuk and prospect Pierre-Olivier Joseph in return. While Galchenyuk has since moved on, the biggest price they got in Joseph remains with the organization. The now 21-year-old defenseman, who was taken 23rd overall by the Coyotes at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, had a very solid four seasons in the QMJHL, accumulating a total of 140 points over that time.
The 2019-20 season marked his first as a pro, as he suited up for 52 games with WBS. Despite his offence not being near the point per game pace it was during his final season in the QMJHL with just 17 total points, he played great hockey in the defensive end and did not look at all out of place. He has a chance to earn a spot on the Penguins blueline for the upcoming season. Even if he doesn’t crack the roster this year, he should be a regular on the Pens backend soon.