WBS Penguins Training Camp - Day Two Update

Sunday, September 28, 2014
Matt Murray and the Penguins look on during the day's final drill.
After a grueling two and a half hour practice to open Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL) training camp on Saturday, the WBS Pens were back on the ice this morning for more. Two more hours of another up-tempo, physical & demanding John Hynes practice.

Everyone was present and accounted for at the Toyota SportsPlex this morning except for the three players Pittsburgh re-assigned last night. Jayson Megna, Dominik Uher and Reid McNeill are all expected to join the team for practice tomorrow.

Nick Drazenovic (day-to-day) wore the red no-contact jersey for the second straight day, while local product Patrick McGrath was upgraded from a red jersey to a regular practice uniform. McGrath was a full participant today, but after landing a big body check on Tom Kostopoulos in the final drill of the day, a physical 2-on-2 drill, the Shavertown Pa. native was slow to get up. He was helped up by teammates and was favoring his lower body. He did finish practice and continued to skate in the post-practice shoot around with teammates.

As for who stood out, there were quite a few. If you thought the Pens were a quick team last year (they were), this season's group looks even faster. Matia Marcantuoni might be the fastest player on the team, but there are several other good skating forwards with high-end speed - Josh Archibald and J-S Dea to name a few. Marcantuoni was flying out there in a variety of open ice drills.

I thought tryout goaltender Nolan Schaefer looked strong in net today as well. With the possibility of the Penguins losing a goaltender in the NHL on waivers and two young goalies in Wilkes-Barre in rookie Matt Murray and second year pro Eric Hartzell, Schaefer could be playing for a chance to be the organization's number three goalie.  

Here's a quick look at some of the drills they ran today:
  • The offensive zone was split in half, with four offense on each side and a total of five defenders. Two defenders forechecked the group of four with the puck while the other three defenders stayed in the middle. When the puck would switch sides, two of those three in the middle would begin forechecking. There were three players in the middle of the ice at all times.
  • One player breakouts with one player chasing. The guy with the puck skated the length of the ice and took a shot on the goaltender at the opposite end of the ice from which he started.
  • Two players enter offensive zone and shoot on net, then a third player at the point gets a pass from down low and takes a shot on net with a screen in front of the goaltender.
  • Coach with a blocking pad pushes a player in the corner before he feeds a pass to the slot for a quick shot on goal.
  • 1-on-1, 2-on-2, 4-on-4 and 5-on-5 drills
The AHL Penguins resume practice again tomorrow morning at the Toyota SportsPlex.

Here's the roster for AHL camp:

* = a tryout invite

Forwards (16) - Josh Archibald, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Nick Drazenovic, Tom Kostopoulos (AHL contract), Tom Kuhnhackl, Matia Marcantuoni, Patrick McGrath* (ECHL contract), Jayson Megna, Tyler Murovich*, Adam Payerl, Carter Rowney (AHL deal), Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary (AHL deal), Dominik Uher, Scott Wilson and Anton Zlobin.

Defensemen (8) - Alex Boak (AHL deal), Nick D'Agostino, Barry Goers (AHL deal), Reid McNeill, Jonathan Narbonne*, Harrison Ruopp, Kevin Ryan* and Clark Seymour (AHL deal).

Goalies (3) - Matt Murray, Eric Hartzell and Nolan Schaefer*

The AHL Penguins could still get quite a few players from Pittsburgh. Here's a look at the bubble players still at the NHL camp across the state:

* = needs to clear waivers to be sent to AHL
Goalies (2) - Jeff Zatkoff* or Thomas Greiss*

Defensemen (5) - Philip Samuelsson*, Brian Dumoulin, Scott Harrington, Taylor Chorney* and Derrick Pouliot (currently injured)

Forwards (7) - Andrew Ebbett*, Zach Sill*, Bobby Farnham, Pierre-Luc Leblond*, Oskar Sundqvist, Kasperi Kapanen and Daniel Carcillo (PTO)


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