Getting to Know: Blaine Byron
Size: 5-foot-11, 163 pounds
Birth Date: Feb. 21, 1995
How the Pens Acquired Him: Drafted in 6th round (179th overall) of 2013 NHL Draft
Claim to Fame: Byron earned massive praise from the Red Line Report, which ranked him as the No. 84 prospect entering this year's draft. The independent scouting service referred to him as one of the "best pure skaters" in the draft class and "one of the most underrated players" available.
2012-13 Season: The strong-stickhandling center earned Third-Team All-Star honors in the Central Canadian Hockey League. He played half his season for the Kemptville 73s (7 goals, 13 assists) and half for the Smiths Falls Bears (5 goals, 24 assists). At season's end, the CCHL bestowed on Byron the league's Top Prospect Award.
Numbers Never Lie: Byron has been a strong puck distributor over his last two seasons, playing the point on Kemptville's power play last year. Though he scored 12 goals in each of the two CCHL seasons, he increased his assist total from 27 in 2011-12 to 40 assists last year.
Pens' Take: "Blaine is a very smart player. He will grow a little bit more. Smart, skilled, creative playmaker. Certainly more of a playmaker than a goal scorer… going to need a little bit more time to develop." – Randy Sexton, co-director of amateur scouting
Byron on his playing style: "I try to play a solid two-way game. I definitely like to use my vision as my strong point. (I have) creativity and am a bit more of a playmaker, but I also have the attribute of scoring goals. I do power skating in the offseason. I try to use it as one of my strengths to break off defenders."