Day Three Update - Derrick Pouliot Joins AHL Penguins

Monday, September 29, 2014
Derrick Pouliot skated with the AHL Penguins for the first time this season.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had another new face on the ice this morning as the third practice session of the year at Toyota SportsPlex got underway. They could see two more familiar faces as early as tomorrow afternoon.

Derrick Pouliot skated in a red, no-contact jersey with the AHL Penguins today in a limited capacity. With the team doing more 5-on-5 and working on the zone breakouts in a game-like scenario, Pouliot skated in the first hour of practice before heading off the ice and retreating to the locker room. He looked a little rusty, but I'm sure that comes with the territory of rehabbing an off-season shoulder surgery. Otherwise, he looked fine.

The big news out of Pittsburgh this afternoon that could affect the AHL roster is that defenseman Philip Samuelsson and forward Pierre-Luc Leblond were placed on waivers. If they clear (by noon tomorrow), they'll be re-assigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

I'm a bit surprised to see Samuelsson placed on waivers today, especially considering he was listed as in the lineup for tonight's preseason game vs. Minnesota this morning. A tough break for the 23-year-old defenseman, who was overshadowed a bit by teammates Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin.

It's the first time Samuelsson has been exposed on waivers, and though no one league-wide has been claimed on waivers yet this season I'm not sure a guy like Samuelsson - fresh off his entry level contract - has been seen on the wires yet this fall. It will be interesting to see if Samuelsson makes it to Wilkes-Barre. Time will tell.

Day Three Report

Missing from practice at the Toyota SportsPlex today was Nick Drazenovic (day-to-day) and Patrick McGrath. Drazenovic had skated in a red jersey the last two days, while McGrath was slow to get up after delivering a check at the tail end of Sunday's practice.

For the first time I have seen at camp, the Penguins started with some line rushes:

Team Black



Team White



The Pens worked on what I would call more game-like drills today. They started with line rushes like in a pre-game warmup, then worked on zone breakouts as five man units as well. There was a focus on creating off the rush, with one guy driving the middle and the other going wide and to the high slot on 3-on-2 rushes.

The Pens ended with a mini scrimmage at the far end, with alternating 4-on-2's. There weren't many goals scored (only one by my count, but it appeared to go in off a high stick). Matt Murray stood out in net today, making several nice stops in the mini scrimmage.

Maybe it was because they were just sent down and I wanted to get a "first-look" of my own at them this season, but I thought Jayson Megna and Dominik Uher looked really good today. Both were quick and near the puck often when they were on the ice during the drills.

The Penguins will hold one more practice tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET before opening the preseason at home vs. the Utica Comets on Wednesday night.


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