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Pens cut 4, announce roster for first game vs. Buffalo

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The Penguins announce who is going to the game tomorrow at Penn State for their preseason opener against the Sabres

NHL: New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

First things first, the Penguins sent 4 junior aged players back to their respective teams for the season as the exhibition game schedule is about to begin.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-assigned four players to their junior teams, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Three players returned to teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League - forward Jan Drozg (Shawinigan Cataractes), defenseman Zachary Lauzon (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies) and goaltender Alex D'Orio (Saint John Sea Dogs). Defenseman Connor Hall has been returned to the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League.

Only 2 junior aged players remain in forwards Jordy Bellerive and amateur tryout Sam Miletic. And, whaddya know, both those young players get a chance to play in an NHL game tomorrow when Pittsburgh heads to Penn State to take on the Buffalo Sabres in their preseason home opener. Here’s the announced squad:

Forwards

11 Jay McClement

17 Bryan Rust

33 Greg McKegg

41 Daniel Sprong

45 Josh Archibald

46 Zach Aston-Reese

53 Teddy Blueger

54 Thomas Di Pauli

62 Carl Hagelin

64 Jordy Bellerive

79 Freddie Tiffels

80 Sam Miletic

Defensemen

2 Chad Ruhwedel

3 Olli Maatta

22 Matt Hunwick

24 Jarred Tinordi

27 Kevin Czuczman

51 Derrick Pouliot

Goalies

1 Casey DeSmith

31 Antti Niemi

Gotta like this team because for differing reasons each player getting a chance tomorrow has something to prove. Whether it’s a veteran like Hunwick or Niemi, looking to impress their new team, Pouliot and Ruhwedel trying to stick in the NHL for a full season for the first time. Bryan Rust is looking to start his contract year out on the right foot. Carl Hagelin’s probably just happy that his foot broken towards the end of last season is finally healthy.

Youngsters like Aston-Reese, Sprong, DiPauli, Archibald are trying to turn heads. You’ve got an old vet in McClement trying to make another team and extend his NHL career and youngsters like Blueger and Dea trying to show they should be the ones to get a chance at an NHL opportunity.

The list keeps going, every player has a story-line but this list is pretty much the best of all those really trying to stand-out and improve their stocks among management and the coaching staff.

Let the games begin.