The Pittsburgh Penguins have used unconventional means to restock their prospect cupboards in recent years, and are now mining the undrafted ranks once again for talent. The team announced today a three-year entry-level contract for Sam Miletic, the third such contract they’ve given out this fall, following Alex D’Orio and Jordan Bellerive.
Miletic is an interesting case study in how draft boards are created around the league. After dominating the Michigan highschool circuit, scoring 79 points in just 26 games in 2013-14, Miletic went to the USHL where he showed he could still put up some points against higher competition. The next year he went to play with the London Knights of the OHL, and was off to a slow start—14 points in 35 games—before leaving the team to focus on his education back in Michigan.
He went undrafted and returned to the Knights this year in hopes of turning heads once again. It worked, as he scored 37 goals to lead the team but still no one called his name in any of the seven draft rounds. He did earn himself a look at the Penguins development camp and rookie tournament before ultimately doing enough in the main training camp to earn an entry-level deal.
There was a lot of uncertainty around Miletic in each of his draft years, which ultimately proved enough for no one to take a chance on him. Now the Penguins, who have a shining example of an undrafted player in Conor Sheary, will hope Miletic continues to prove that he can provide a solid two-way game with goal-scoring upside in the professional ranks. The next decision will to be whether to play at the AHL level or head back to London as an over-aged player.