Getting Familiar With The 2014-15 Penguins Rookie Camp Roster

Friday, August 29, 2014
The Penguins roster for rookie camp features Kasperi Kapanen, Brian Dumoulin, Scott Harrington and Adam Payerl, among others such as local product Patrick McGrath.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced their rookie camp roster of 24 players on Thursday. The rookie tournament, which begins September 13th in London, Ontario, will feature these Penguins prospects in three games, one each against prospects from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks. The four-day camp runs from the 13-16th of September and gives Pens prospects one more opportunity to make an impression before the Penguins' main training camp in Pittsburgh.

Penguins Rookie Tournament Schedule

Saturday, September 13, 2014
2:00 p.m. ET - Penguins vs. Ottawa

Sunday, September 14, 2014
2:00 p.m. ET - Penguins vs. Chicago

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
2:00 p.m. ET - Penguins vs. Toronto

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head coach John Hynes and assistant coach Alain Nasreddine will be behind the bench for the Penguins at the rookie tournament.

The Penguins 24-man roster is as follows. After the jump, an in-depth look at each player.

Goaltenders: Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry.

Defensemen: Alex Boak, Nick D'Agostino, Brian Dumoulin, Scott Harrington, Reid McNeill, Harrison Ruopp and Clark Seymour.

Forwards: Josh Archibald, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Tom Kuhnhackl, Kasperi Kapanen, Christophe Lalancette, Jaden Lindo, Matia Marcantuoni, Patrick McGrath, Adam Payerl, Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary, Oskar Sundqvist, Dominik Uher, Scott Wilson and Anton Zlobin.

Some Fun With Numbers
  • Only two players on the roster - Brian Dumoulin and Adam Payerl - appeared in an NHL game last season.
  • 10 of the 24 guys on the roster competed in the rookie tournament with the Penguins last year in 2013.
  • 15 of the 24 guys on the roster appeared in at least one game in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last season in 2013-14.
  • 18 of the 24 went to the Penguins annual development camp last year in 2013. 
  • All but three - Christophe Lalancette (tryout), Patrick McGrath (tryout) and Jaden Lindo (knee) - participated in the Penguins most recent development camp (2014) last month in July.

The Rookie Camp Roster

Goaltenders

Tristan Jarry - Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

Jarry, 19, is coming off a Memorial Cup championship season last year in 2013-14. The Pens 2nd round pick (44th overall) in 2013 played the most minutes of any goaltender in North America last season, dispelling concerns that he could handle a bigger workload than the 27 games he played in 2012-13 prior to being drafted.

Matt Murray - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

Murray, 20, finished up a four-year career in the OHL with a 32-win season in 2013-14 before joining the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL) last spring. Murray looked good in his AHL debut in the WBS Penguins' season finale and the third period of a 2014 Calder Cup playoff game and is looking forward to his first pro season this fall. For more about Murray, check this feature I wrote when I spoke with him after the Penguins Development Camp scrimmage in July.

Defenseman

Alex Boak - Clarkson University (ECAC)

Boak, 24, was one of the more feisty defensemen at Penguins Development Camp in July. After finishing up a four-year collegiate career at Clarkson, Boak joined the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) and appeared in eight games there last spring. Boak projects to a steady but physical defensive defenseman who will get some work in the ECHL and be ready for the AHL as added depth on the blue line. Some extra insights on Boak and other defensemen in the Penguins system here.

Nick D'Agostino - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)

D'Agostino, 24, appeared in 48 games for the AHL Penguins in the beginning of last season, his first as a pro, but was very limited in his appearances and ice time in the AHL down the stretch last season, also appearing in seven games in the ECHL with Wheeling. The former Cornell University product is looking to play a more regular role on the AHL club this fall.

Brian Dumoulin - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)

Dumoulin, 23, will be relied upon to be one of the leaders of this group in the rookie tournament and it comes as no surprise, entering his third season at the professional level this fall. Arguably the most NHL-ready defenseman at this camp for the Penguins, Dumoulin is a solid two-way defenseman who isn't overly physical but is big and rangy nonetheless. Dumoulin tallied 12 points (3G-9A) in 17 AHL playoff games last postseason and played his best hockey down the stretch and in the playoffs last year after earning his first NHL call up last season.

Scott Harrington - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)

Harrington, 21, enjoyed a relatively successful rookie campaign in the AHL last season, tallying 24 points (5G-19A) and appearing in all 76 of the AHL Penguins' regular season games last year in 2013-14. Joining the AHL Penguins during the 2013 Playoffs put Harrington miles ahead of the rest of the Penguins rookies and it showed last season as he often went unnoticed as a result of solid work in his own zone. Some consider Harrington the most well-rounded of the defenseman at rookie camp along with Dumoulin.

Reid McNeill - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)

McNeill, 22, burst onto the scene last year and was very noticeable for a defensive defenseman as he often punished opponents with big hits, hip checks and physical play in the AHL last season. McNeill was paired with Simon Despres as the top shutdown pairing in the postseason last spring and both played well together, complimenting each other's style of play. The extra time spent in Wheeling in 2012-13 (44 games) paid off for McNeill, now entering his third season of pro hockey as a rare breed in the Penguins blue line system.

Harrison Ruopp - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL) & Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)

Ruopp, 21, started his rookie campaign injured and then in the ECHL before sticking with the AHL Penguins in the spring. Another defensive defenseman, Ruopp plays with a chip on his shoulder and is very physical on the back end. He's looking to make more of an impact at the AHL level this year, his second year of pro hockey. I caught up with Ruopp at Penguins Development Camp in July and wrote up this feature on him talking about his first season and building off of it entering rookie camp this fall.

Clark Seymour - Peterborough Petes (OHL)

Seymour, 21, is turning pro in the fall and is no stranger to the Penguins organization having been invited to the team's annual development camp three times. The Pens' 5th round pick (143rd overall) in 2012 recently signed his first pro contract - an AHL deal with the WBS Penguins - earlier this summer. I caught up with Seymour to talk about his first contract and getting ready for his first season at the pro level in this feature.

Forwards

Josh Archibald - University of Nebraska-Omaha (NCHC)

Archibald, 21, is coming off a spectacular season at UNO where he tallied 29 goals on the way to being named a finalist for the 2014 Hobey Baker Award. Upon joining the AHL Penguins on an amateur tryout last spring, Archibald scored his first pro goal in his second pro game and his first playoff goal in his first appearance in the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs. For more on Archibald, take a look at this piece on the goal-scoring forward who signed his entry-level NHL contract this summer.

Jean-Sebastien Dea - Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)

Speaking of goal-scoring forwards, Dea, 20, is coming off of back-to-back regular season goal totals of 45 and 49 in the QMJHL and has a pure goal-scoring ability relatively unmatched amongst his peers. Dea will have to improve on rounding out his overall game and adding some size to his smaller frame, but could be among the next generation of offensive talents in Wilkes-Barre come this fall. I caught up with Dea at the Pens Development camp in 2013 when he was a tryout and told his story here.

Kasperi Kapanen - KalPa Kuopio (SM-Liga)

Kapanen, 18, is the youngest player on the Pens rookie camp roster but he's certainly generating a lot of hype. The Pens' first round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft is looking to make the NHL roster out of training camp and this rookie tournament gives him another chance to make an impression before main NHL training camp starts later next month.

Tom Kuhnhackl - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins & Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)

Kuhnhackl, 22, is at a crossroads entering this season having injury-filled seasons to start his pro career and not excelling at the AHL level at the start of last season before being re-assigned to Wheeling for the postseason. Kuhnhackl scored goals in bunches in the ECHL, but with a large group of incoming forwards and Kuhnhackl being in the last year of his entry level contract, now is as good a time as ever for him to make an impression before the puck drops on the 2014-15 season.

Christophe Lalancette - Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

One of few tryouts invited to the Penguins rookie camp, Lalancette is a former San Jose Sharks 4th round draft pick from 2012 who was not retained and is one of two tryouts (see below) on the roster. The concerns have been with strength, drive and puck battles but Lalancette seemed to be stronger and more engaged in battles he easily lost the year prior to last season.

Jaden Lindo - Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

Lindo, the Pens' 6th round pick (173rd overall) in 2014, didn't participate on-ice at development camp because of a knee ailment. He finished his second season in the OHL last year with 18 points (9G-9A) in 40 games.

Matia Marcantuoni - Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

Marcantuoni's blazing speed was front and center at the development camp scrimmage, as he blew past Brian Dumoulin and set up Adam Payerl for the first goal of the afternoon. After a four year stint with Kitchener (42 goals, 56 assists in 184 games), Marcantuoni made his pro debut in the AHL Penguins regular season finale up in Utica, NY back in April. He will be turning pro in the fall and is looking to stick on the AHL roster out of camp.

Patrick McGrath - Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)

McGrath, the 21-year-old local product from Shavertown, Pa., is the other player on the roster besides Christophe Lalancette who is attending the rookie tournament with the Penguins on a tryout contract. McGrath is an agitator much like that of a Bobby Farnham type, who is relentless and physical. In his first season of pro hockey, McGrath registered one assist and 176 penalty minutes in 45 games with Wheeling last season. McGrath signed an ECHL contract with the Nailers this summer.


Adam Payerl - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)

At 23, Payerl is the oldest forward on the Penguins rookie camp. He's also the most experienced forward of the group, having the only NHL experience (2 games in 2013-14) on the entire roster. To top it off, Payerl is the biggest forward of the bunch at 6-3, 218 and the power forward is looking to prove he can play in a bottom six role and be effective on every shift this fall. 

Bryan Rust - Notre Dame (Hockey-East)

Rust, 22, got his first taste of pro hockey last spring with the AHL Penguins after finishing his senior season - 33 points (17G-16A) in 40 games - at Notre Dame. Rust appeared in three games, including one playoff game, last season in the AHL and has come into camp ready to learn and soak it all in as he enters his rookie season in the fall.

Conor Sheary - UMass-Amherst (Hockey-East) & Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)

After leading UMass as captain last fall, Sheary finished his collegiate career and made an immediate impact upon arriving in Wilkes-Barre. Sheary finished the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs with 11 points (6G-5A) in 15 games, tied for second most goals on the Penguins along with then-rookie Anton Zlobin. Only on an AHL contract, Sheary wants to make an impression on the new management in Pittsburgh and what better time than now.

Oskar Sundqvist - Skelleftea AIK (SHL)

Gaining more responsibility on his Swedish league team has paid off in spades for his development. Sundqvist, 20, is already competing against men in Sweden and is playing well. From what I've seen in person at development camp the last two years, he's a big, rangy forward with a great shot and good puck control. Ian Altenbaugh from Hockey's Future had this to say about Sundqvist's development with Skelleftea.

Dominik Uher - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)

Uher comes to rookie camp as one of the more seasoned veterans, entering his third season at the pro level this fall. The feisty Czech forward is a menace on the forecheck and is efficient on the penalty kill - two things he's looking to show he can do consistently to make an impression on the NHL staff.

Scott Wilson - UMass-Lowell (Hockey-East)

Wilson was a leader on UMass-Lowell his senior season and looks to be a solid two-way forward who isn't overly flashy in any way but a well-rounded prospect fresh out of college and ready for his first full season of pro hockey in the fall. I watched Wilson in a game against Penn State early last fall and had this blurb on him.

Anton Zlobin - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)

Zlobin found his game at a crucial point of the year and carried his play through the postseason, with six goals and several game-winning tallies in last spring's run to the Eastern Conference finals. With a good rookie tournament and training camp, Zlobin could be poised for a breakout season in his sophomore season of pro hockey.

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