It's summer and just a few weeks ago the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, and yet....The grind continues with prospect development camp this week. Here's the schedule all events at UPMC Lemieux in Cranberry and all open to the public.
Wednesday, June 28
2:15-3:00 PM - Team A Practice
3:15-4:00 PM - Team B Practice
Thursday, June 29
9:45 AM - Skills Session (Team A)
10:45 AM - Skills Session (Team B)
10:45 AM - Goalies Session (Rink 2)
Friday, June 30
9:45 AM - Practice (Team B)
10:45 AM - Practice (Team A)
Saturday, July 1
3:00 PM - 3-on-3 Scrimmage
40 players will be attending, among the highlights:
Daniel Sprong - the only player with NHL regular season experience, Sprong has looked like a man among boys in the Quebec league this year, and ought to pop off with a great performance against young prospects here with his immense skill. Summer practices with non-NHL players only carry so much weight, but it seems reasonable to expect Sprong to standout.
Zach Aston-Reese - after a successful professional debut in the AHL this spring, ZAR continues his journey to his first pro training camp in a few months and there is much excitement about the 2017 Hobey Baker finalist's chances to make his NHL debut at some point in the 2017-18 season.
Sam Lafferty - had a breakout season at Brown with 35 points (13g+22a) in 31 games. Will be interesting to see how he looks out there now, as he goes into his senior season and will need to be signed within the next year, unless he opts to go the NCAA free agent route.
Thomas Di Pauli - a forgotten man after a rough, injury-filled season, Di Pauli was one such NCAA UFA and a big pickup by the Pens last summer. Hopefully he can get the page started on a much better 2017-18 and that first step is this camp.
Freddie Tiffels - the 22-year old German born player who was in college just ended his collegiate career by signing with Pittsburgh. Will be interesting to see where he is in this group and hopefully stands out and is ready to start his pro career out right.
Zachary Lauzon - as the top pick in the draft for this team, Lauzon will have a bit of a spotlight on him. He did win the best defensive defenseman award in the Q last year, so his subtle skills at defending probably don't make put him in a light to stand out in a short summer camp, but it'll be nice to see his skating and puck moving and if they live up to any billing
Connor Hall - 2016's 3rd round pick was limited to 17 games with an injury last year. Tough time for a lost year of development, hopefully that won't stunt him too much. Keep an eye to see how he has grown or if he struggles here.
Filip Gustavsson - the 19-year old spent time in the top league in Sweden, jumping in to the narrow rinks and NHL style of game might prove difficult or a bit out of his norm. But with his size and skill he performed pretty well at this camp last year and ought to be expected to be the best goalie out there again.