As was rumored in recent days, the Penguins have added the son of Kevin Stevens, 23-year old Yale graduate Luke to an AHL contract. And another interesting name too, in former QMJHL teammate of Samuel Poulin’s in Felix Richard. From wbspenguins.com:
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed forwards Félix Robert and Luke Stevens to American Hockey League contracts for the 2020-21 season.
Robert, an undrafted free agent, is coming off of an explosive offensive season with the Sherbrooke Phoenix where he played alongside the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2018 first-round draft pick, Samuel Poulin. The native of Lac-Mégantic led Sherbrooke with 56 assists and 92 points, which were both good enough for fourth-most in the entire Québec Major Junior Hockey League. His career-high 36 goals also placed second on the Phoenix.
In 219 career QMJHL games, Robert produced 81 goals and 136 assists for 216 points. He also tacked on 14 points (5G-9A) in 21 playoff games. The 21-year-old concludes his junior career holding several of Sherbrooke’s franchise records, including career power-play goals (29), longest point streak (16 games) and most points in a single season (92, 2019-20). His 216 career points place second in Phoenix history.
Stevens wrapped up a four-year career playing at Yale University, for which he earned a career-best seven goals and 12 points. In 101 games with the Bulldogs, the 23-year-old forward generated 19 goals and 16 assists for 35 points.
The Luke Stevens signing kinda is what it is — an AHL deal so there’s no risk or consternation about using one of the 50 NHL contacts. The Penguins reportedly wanted to sign their own draft pick Nikita Pavylchev to an AHL deal but he declined (and went on to recently sign with Tampa’s organization to an AHL contract). So adding Stevens replaces Pavylchev as a big but ECHL/AHL caliber long-shot type of prospect.
The addition of Robert, however, is a bit more interesting. The 21-year old scored an eye-popping 92 points in just 46 games for Sherbrooke this season, which ranked tied for third in the whole league, despite missing time with mono. Robert was the center for the Pens’ 2019 first round pick in Poulin.
But Robert is also only 5’8, and history is riddled with over-age players who can tear up a junior league and never really be able to make a mark up a level of competition in the pros. Still, can’t find the next smallish undrafted scorer like a Conor Sheary (who himself signed an AHL deal initially with Pittsburgh) or Tyler Johnson without casting out some chances, and the Pens’ center prospect depth right now is pretty much non-existent so it will be interesting to see if Robert can do anything with this opportunity.