Pens Development Camp Scrimmage

Posted: July 18, 2011 by JoeyD in Pittsburgh Penguins, Prospects
Tags: , , , , , , ,

On Saturday was a free to the public scrimmage to cap off the Penguins rookie development camp. Approximately 4-5ooo fans attended, which is pretty impressive since there were maybe 1-2000 at regular training camp during Crosby’s rookie year. It’s a nice sign of the popularity heights that the Penguins have enjoyed for a while now.

The scrimmage was two 25 minute games with periodic switches between 5 on 5, 4 on 4, and some 3 on 3 situations. So evaluations and opinions of players can be a little skewed, but then again we also missed the drills and evaluations of the earlier days in the week as well.

By far the most impressive player in the scrimmage was the Pens 2nd round pick this year Scott Harrington. The London Knight showed great skating ability and quite a fervor for jumping up in the play and impressed with puck handling as well.

One of the things that impressed me the most about Simon Despres is his ability to use his big frame (6’4” 205 just shy of turning 20 on the 27th) to shield the puck from others and to win battles to the puck behind the net. Think there is a good chance to see Despres in the AHL this year.

While being a little bit timid and passive at times and got caught flatfooted a few times, first round pick Joe Morrow did show some flashes at times with some stellar skating ability. This kid has the tools no doubt, hopefully we will see a full package in a few years.

Eric Tangradi seemed to be a little sloppy at the beginning but became the man among boys that was pretty much expected from him. I very much hope to see a big step forward from him come training camp.

Beau Bennet didnt seem that much bigger but still have room to grow and that size is going to be needed of course.  Can get muscled off the puck still a little too easy. But he still has a great skillset with a few passes of the “Whoa” variety.  Still a few years away but I think the development will continue nicely in his second year at Denver.

I am pretty sure the Philip Samuelsson we seen on Saturday is nothing like the Samuelsson you have seen at BC. Probably the lack of physicality in the scrimmage lessened some of his impact.  Except for one time he got knocked down, by Uher i think, and he got up and gave some stickwork in front of the net. Like father like son?

Keven Veilleux might be the goofiest looking skater ever but outside of that can have some darn good hand and shot. Had some nice buries during the scrimmage and won the impromptu shootout elimination game to finish the day.  At times he looks like he can make the big leagues, consistency will be his key if he will be a career AHLer or not.

I thought Tom Kuhnhackl did alright, has some pretty good hands. I keep an eye on him as a potential steal for the Penguins getting him in the 4th round last year. Had quite an impressive rookie year in Windsor getting 68 points in 63 games.  He is going to need some muscle though as on the sheet he was listed at 6’2” 172. But also he wont be 20 until January anyways.

The last and most impressive thing was my friend’s sons, watching  a 4 and 6 year old destroy a large bucket of popcorn (approximately 15 minutes) quicker than it takes Paul Bissonette to get his first shift of game was by far the champions of the day!

It was fun to get my summer hockey fix on Saturday. Makes September’s camp not seem so far away now. I love that feeling going to a rink to watch hockey, I simply feel at home.


  1. sid says:

    Do you think any of these guys make the Penguins this year?

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