The Post-Gazette will present its annual ranking of the top 10 prospects in the Penguins' organization – among unsigned draft choices and players on entry-level contracts, anyway – in Tuesday's paper.
Readers who pay close attention to such things might note that defenseman Joe Morrow, their first-round draft choice in 2011, slipped from No. 1 last year to No. 4 this time.
Team personnel officials say Morrow is one of several players who could be viewed as their top prospect, but acknowledge that he, like many young defensemen, is going through an often-trying adjustment to pro hockey.
Morrow has one goal and five assists, as well as a plus-minus rating of minus-6 that ties for the worst on the team, in 21 games with their farm team in Wilkes-Barre.
Assistant general manager Jason Botterill, who doubles as GM in Wilkes-Barre, believes that some of the difficulties Morrow is experiencing now actually will work in his favor as his career progresses.
"A young player like Joe Morrow is going through things that are going to make it easier when he makes the jump to the National Hockey League," he said.
"The fact he has to fight a little bit for ice time, that's something he never had to deal with before. He's gong to have to deal with it when he jumps up to the National Hockey League, so why not go through the experience down there now?"
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