|Teddy Blueger shakes hands with Mario Lemieux after getting drafted.|
Minnesota State incoming freshman Teddy Blueger was ranked No. 116 on the final Central Scouting Service rankings, but it's clear that the Pittsburgh Penguins felt a lot stronger about the center from Latvia and Shattuck-St. Mary's.
The Penguins selected the 17-year-old Blueger on Saturday in the second round of the NHL draft, which was taking place in Pittsburgh.
Blueger was in the Steel City for the event, and you can see video of Blueger's press conference on the Penguins' website. The site describes Blueger as an "intelligent Latvian import." Read press releases here and here.
Blueger was picked No. 52 overall, which makes him the fourth MSU-related player to get taken in the second round. Others included Tyler Pitlick (31), Tim Jackman (38) and David Backes (62). Of that group, only Pitlick did not play college hockey after getting picked.
I spoke with Minnesota State coach Mike Hastings Saturday morning, and he was excited about the Blueger news. Remember Hastings went to Europe to meet Blueger just days after being named MSU's coach in April.
"I think it’s good for everybody,” Hastings said. “He’s going to a great organization in Pittsburgh that has a history of doing a great job developing players. Our job now is to hopefully help that process.”
Hastings credited assistant coaches Darren Blue and Todd Knott and former MSU coach Troy Jutting for landing Blueger.
"I'm excited to be around the young man," Hastings said.
Blueger ended up being the only Maverick picked. There were a few possibilities, including incoming freshman goalie Stephon Williams and defenseman Eli May, a 2013 recruit. Word was incoming freshman forward Dylan Margonari, who was not rated in the CSS rankings, had an outside shot of getting taken, too.