Swift Current Broncos defenceman Owen Pickering has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team that drafted him in last week's NHL Entry Draft.

Pickering was selected in the first round, 21st overall, by the Penguins, becoming the first player from the Broncos to be drafted in the first round since Jake DeBrusk went 14th overall to Boston in 2015.

He had nine goals and 33 points to lead all Broncos defencemen in the 2021-22 season and was ranked 15th among North American skaters in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. Pickering also took part in the CHL Top Prospects game in March and the World U18 Hockey Championship where he was named one of Canada's best three players at the event.

Pickering is the first Broncos player to sign an NHL contract since Stuart Skinner signed an entry-level deal with the Edmonton Oilers in 2018.