The Pittsburgh Penguins have long boasted one of the best groups of prospect defensemen in all of hockey, a group littered with first- and second-round picks, offensive contributors and defensive stalwarts and strong skaters at every level.

General Manager Ray Shero and his staff have a deliberate (and sometimes dogmatic) commitment to building their club from the blue line out. They've used young defensemen to fill vacancies on Pittsburgh's roster when necessary (Kris Letang, Deryk Engelland) and as expendable trade assets when possible (Ryan Whitney, Alex Goligoski). The Penguins acquired five defensemen through selections or trade at the 2012 NHL Draft alone, and have used four of their top-four picks in the last two drafts on defensemen.

As an organization, the Penguins are stacked. But the team is still short on proven D at the NHL level.