Breaking Down Penguins Rookie Camp Roster - Part 1 Goalies/Defense

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Scott Harrington looks to lead the Penguins' defensemen at this weekend's rookie tournament in London, Ontario.
The Penguins annual rookie tournament is a sort of homecoming for two defenseman - Scott Harrington (Kington, ONT) and Reid McNeill (London, ONT) - who both played their junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League with the London Knights.

The Knights' home arena, Budweiser Gardens, is the site for this weekend's rookie tournament amongst prospects from the Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators. The Penguins kick off the tournament on Saturday with a 2 p.m. face-off against the Senators.

In lieu of the first game Saturday, I chose to break down the Penguins now 22-man roster in two separate posts by position. Today we'll look at the goaltenders and defensemen and on Friday the forwards. Saturday morning I'll post the full preview of the tournament, complete with a story on local (Shavertown, Pa native) forward Patrick McGrath - an invitee to the rookie tournament by the Penguins.

Editor's Note: Every player I have featured from development camp the past two summers have extra reading linked in their brief scouting report. 


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.


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 spring, also appearing in seven games in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers. The former Cornell University product is looking to play a more regular role on the AHL club this fall. D'Agostino is an offensive minded defenseman who needs to round out his game more at the pro level. He was often victimized in his own zone.

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 and their 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.


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