Over the past four seasons the Pittsburgh Penguins organization has made a concerted effort to draft quality defensemen and now boasts one of the deepest groups of defensive prospects in the NHL. Their forward depth, while not as impressive as the defense, has also come a long way and now has quality prospects at every position.
Most of the prospects in the pool are fairly versatile as well, as the forwards can typically play more than one position and all of the skaters are capable of filling a variety of different roles.
Eric Tangradi, at 23 years old, is the greybeard among the Penguins forward prospects, with over three years of pro experience. If not for the NHL lockout, Tangradi would have almost assuredly started the 2012-13 season in the NHL, potentially flanking center Sidney Crosby. Instead, he continues to ply his trade in the AHL. Tangradi is among the biggest forwards the Penguins have in their system, standing at a hulking 6'4, 232 pounds, and combined with his offensive ability, has the potential to be a formidable power forward in the NHL. He has also simplified his game enough where even if he is not playing an offensive role, he can still make a palpable contribution with his physical play. The only major knock on Tangradi's game is his speed and acceleration, and at this point in his development, they are likely not to improve too much. Still, if he can keep his feet moving, he should be able to make an offensive contribution at the NHL level.