Photo from pittsburghpenguins.com, Billy Guerin overseeing the boys and dishing out wisdom all week long
Here's an open thread for the prospects camp, starting today with workouts and closed practices, an introduction for many new, young players to how to train and play like a professional, and a re-introduction for others. Practices are closed to the public, except for the big scrimmage on Saturday afternoon.
Here are the top five players I'm most looking forward to seeing:
- Brian Dumoulin. With the Penguins near the salary cap, a trade of a roster player is coming, with Matt Niskanen being a potential target with his $2.3 million salary. This would push Dumoulin up the organizational depth chart a spot and will probably be the only member of this group to have a realistic chance of playing in the NHL at some point next season.
- Derrick Pouliot. After being picked in the top 10 of last year's draft, Pouliot was seen as a "toolsy" player with good skating and puck ability, but still needed to gain strength and develop a lot more physically. The Pens other best prospect aren't really guys who would flash in a week long camp. But Pouliot, with his advanced skills, might.
- Tom Kuhnhackl. After a strong junior career, injuries held the profilic offensive player to just 13 games in his first professional year. This upcoming year will be a big year for if he can develop into an NHL option and hopefully he can get off on the right foot.
- Bryan Rust. Rust had a great year last year at Notre Dame, is now 21 years old and was drafted a few years back. While he still won't be a pro for at least another year, it'll be interesting to see if now as one of the older and more experienced players in this venue if he can continue to succeed and make an impact.
- Anton Zlobin. A slick scoring winger, Zlobin had a great year in the Q last season but needs to continue to add strength and gain experience in order to see if he can make an impact. The Pens can always use skilled wingers, and he's got some of that
Who else can stand out this week? Who needs a good showing?