Day Four: Penguins Development Camp

Friday, July 19, 2013
Defensemen Olli Maatta (left) and Brian Dumoulin (right) get instructions from NHL Penguins assistant coach Todd Reirden.

The prospects were split up by position today as the forwards came out first this morning for about an hour followed by the defensemen in the second session. Goaltenders were out for both sessions, although Tristan Jarry did not participate in the second practice.

Jarry took a puck up high during the first session with the forwards, stayed on the ice for a little bit afterwards and left the ice. He did not return but assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald said he took a puck to the collarbone but that he's fine.

Forwards who stood out today were Dominik Uher, Oskar Sundqvist and Adam Payerl.

Uher was picking the high glove side all morning. I think fans in Wilkes-Barre will like how he is progressing, heading into his second year of professional hockey.

"I've been working on it since I got home," Uher said of his shot. "Four goals was not really what I was looking for last season, so I'm trying to get better at it and I felt pretty comfortable out there today."

Sundqvist continued to impress with his quick release and NHL caliber wrist shot. He's already been reported to be heading back to Sweden to play (Shelly), but fans should keep an eye on Sundqvist in tomorrow's scrimmage.

Payerl was strong on puck in the corners and can shoot the puck as well. Payerl is simply a man against boys against most in this camp. At 6-3, 225, there's not many people that can give him a physical test in the corners and dirty areas of the ice.

Defenseman who stood out today included the pair from the London Knights (OHL): Scott Harrington and Olli Maatta. While both are young, both made an impact during the AHL Penguins playoff run this past season.

"It was a good first step for myself," Harrington recalled of his short stint in the AHL playoffs. "It was a good experience for myself to see the level they play at and the level I have to prepare myself to play at this upcoming season."

Harrington looks to join a relatively young, but talented blue line in Wilkes-Barre. AHL Penguins assistant coach Alain Nasreddine spoke to the media gathered after today's practices about the joys of challenging such high end blue line prospects.

"They're still young, there's still plenty to learn," Nasreddine said, "but they do have that raw talent that you're looking for and they're special defensemen."

Penguins Development Camp concludes with a scrimmage tomorrow at 3 p.m. EDT. I'll have my usual game day set up and ready to go starting with a preview before the start of the game with all the latest on starters in net and projected line combinations and defense pairings.

During the game, I'll be providing live in-game updates on Twitter on Highland Park Hockey's feed @H_P_Hockey. I will also be doing some on-air work with Paul Steigerwald during the prospect game so be sure to tune in for that.

After the scrimmage and post game press conferences/player interviews, I'll post a full recap of the scrimmage before leaving Pittsburgh and heading back to northeastern Pennsylvania.


mackenziesu said...

I'm looking forward to your write-up. I have to work and won't be able to watch myself, so your work will guide my opinion on how everyone is doing :) Keep up the good work, Tony

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