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Pens Go Red, White, and Blue

Beau Bennett

At this weekends draft at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted six different players, four of them born in the US. Without a pick in the second or seventh rounds, the Pens selected in rounds one, three, four, five and six.

Selected in the first round, 20th overall, was California born Beau Bennett. Bennett lead the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League) in points this past season and was the first rookie in league history to surpass the 100 point mark with 41 goals and 79 assists.

“It’s unbelievable, a whirlwind of emotions,” Bennett said. “Having my family here is amazing. To go to an organization like Pittsburgh, which has won a Stanley Cup recently, has (Evgeni) Malkin and (Sidney) Crosby, it is a dream. I hope to be there one day, playing alongside those guys.” via (pittsburghpenguins.com)

Bennett will play for the University of Denver this coming fall, and is currently the highest drafted California-born player in NHL draft history.

Bryan Rust

Day two the draft, after sitting tight with out a pick in the second round, the Penguins selected another American born player, this one out of Pontiac, Michigan. Bryan Rust selected in the third round (80th overall) played for the US Development Team and was a part of the 2010 core who took home the gold at the World Championships in Belarus.

“Pure excitement. I didn’t know where I was going, which draft pick. But I’m happy where I’m going, great organization, great coach. I’m pretty excited.” (via pittsburghpenguns.com)

Rust will attend the University of Notre Dame this coming fall alongside fellow draftees Jarred Tinordi and Stephen Johns.

Tom Kuehnhackl

Round Four the Pens selected German Tom Kuehnhackl (110th overall) of Landshut, Germany. Kuehnhackl comes from a long list of hockey in his family including his father who was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1997. Being drafted by the Penguins is quite an honor for Kuehnhackl as it is his favorite team. He credits one of his fondest hockey memories to the Pens winning the Stanley Cup in 2009.

“Wow, when I was younger it was dream that I would get drafted one day by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now it’s happened. It’s a great feeling. I’m from Germany and it’s not a hockey nation. Not a lot of players get drafted. It’s great for me.” (via pittsburghpenguins.com)

Kuehnhackl will play for the Windsor Spitfires next season of the OHL.

Kenneth Agostino

Round Five brought out New Jersey native Kenneth Agostino. At 140th overall, Agostino was one of the 22 high school students selected in this year’s draft and the only one by the Penguins. Named New Jersey High School Player of the Year for the past three seasons, Agostino produced 83 points in just 27 games.

“It seemed like I was going to go at some point today. It was just a matter of where. You get a little antsy, but just to be picked is a great relief. It’s a great honor, for sure.” (via pittsburghpenguins.com)

Agostino will attend Yale University in the fall to continue his development.

Rounding off the day were two defensemen, Joe Rogalski (152nd overall) from Buffalo, New York and Reid McNeil (170th overall) from London, Ontario both selected in the sixth round.

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