As we head towards the week of prospect camp, I imagine we'll start seeing plenty of feature articles on some of the top names. Guys like Luca Caputi, Alex Goligoski and Carl Sneep will definitely have their share of the limelight.
Today The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette put together a feature on one of the newest members of the Wilkes-Barre Scranton club; Jean-Michel Daoust. Daoust's story is a unique one, although a prime example that hockey, just like any other business, can sometimes be all about who you know.
Daoust just happens to know Penguins forward Max Talbot. From their days in the Quebec Major Junior League, Daoust and Talbot maintained a steady line of communication as each of them pursued their NHL career.
With his presence more or less solidified with the Penguins, Talbot decided to throw out Daoust's name to the right people around the Penguins' camp. It wasn't long before his buddy was playing for the WBS Pens, and nearly came within reach of the Calder Cup last season.
Talbot describes Daoust as a Martin St. Louis-style player.
"Yes, he's small, but I don't think he plays like that,. His heart brings him a lot. He's got skill, he's got grit, too, for a player his size. He understands the game."
While it might be extremely challenging for Daoust to fight for a spot on such a tightly knit, sufficiently supplied team, you never know what will happen down the road. Consider last season when players were going down like flies. How many call ups did we see? Guys like Tyler Kennedy and Kris Letang weren't even on the team when the season started. And what about a guy like Ty Conklin?
In other words, anything is possible.
If all goes to plan, the two friends will play alongside one another during some preseason action, should Daoust not be cut beforehand.
In either case, his position with the farm team only keeps him ever closer to the official black and gold of Pittsburgh