Swift Current, Sask. – The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today that they have signed Swift Current Broncos defenceman Owen Pickering to a three-year, entry-level contract. The Penguins drafted Pickering with the 21st overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.
Pickering, from St. Adolphe, Man., saw his meteoric rise over the 2021-22 season peak when he was selected by the Penguins, beginning the season as a C-ranked prospect by NHL Central Scouting, and finishing the year ranked 15th amongst North American Skaters.
The 6’4’’ Pickering was the Broncos number one defenceman during the 2021-22 season, racking up 33 points (9-24-33) in 62 games while logging heavy minutes in all situations.
He was named to the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game which was held in Kitchener, Ont. in March, and upon completion of the 2021-22 regular season, Pickering immediately joined Team Canada for the World U18 Hockey Championship in Germany. He was named one of Canada’s top-three players at the event.
Pickering became the first Broncos player to be drafted in the first round of the NHL Draft since Jake Debrusk was selected 14th overall by the Boston Bruins in 2015. He is also the first Broncos player to sign an NHL contract since Stuart Skinner, who signed his entry-level deal with the Edmonton Oilers on May 14, 2018.