Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Camp Battles: McKegg separating from pack sees young centers starting season in Wilkes Barre

Latest Penguins Buzz

The Pittsburgh Penguins today trimmed their roster to 26 players, the team announced.

The following players were reassigned to Wilkes Barre/Scranton:

Forwards Zach Aston-Reese, Teddy Blueger, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Thomas Di Pauli, Adam Johnson, Sam Miletic, Dominik Simon, Colin Smith, Daniel Sprong, Christian Thomas, Freddie Tiffels and Garrett Wilson; defensemen Lukas Bengtsson, Frank Corrado, Kevin Czuczman, Ethan Prow, Chris Summers, Jarred Tinordi and Zach Trotman; and goalies Casey DeSmith and Tristan Jarry.


Camp Battles Watch

As Greg McKegg has separated from the rest of the pack for one of the final center spots on the roster, the decision became even easier to send Adam Johnson and Teddy Blueger down today due to the dip in play from both over the last 5-6 days.

Johnson started off camp with a bang including a 2-goal game in the preseason but his play dropped significantly over his last two preseason games.

Meanwhile, the Penguins want Blueger to get stronger before a full-time NHL role and he was always a longshot to start the year in Pittsburgh.

How these two perform early this season in Wilkes Barre should be fun to watch.

Jay McClement remains in camp on a PTO.


Zach Aston-Reese / Daniel Sprong

The Penguins have had all intentions of starting Sprong in the minors and even with Patric Hornqvist’s status up in the air for opening night, there was no wavering on the Penguins predetermined plan. He’s NHL ready from a skill-standpoint but the Penguins want him to improve his play away from the puck and they feel the best chance for that is at least a half season in Wilkes Barre, per a source.

Zach Aston-Reese is interesting here. He produced in the preseason but just never found a fit with Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel despite a lengthy audition in practices and one game.

Aside from underwhelming foot speed, he needs to improve his game speed when it comes to making decisions with the puck Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

Current Roster
Forwards (16)
Sidney Crosby
Evgeni Malkin
Jake Guentzel
Phil Kessel
Conor Sheary
Patric Hornqvist
Carl Hagelin
Bryan Rust
Carter Rowney
Gregg McKegg
Ryan Reaves
Josh Archibald
Scott Wilson
Tom Kuhnhackl
Jay McClement
Tom Sestito


Defensemen (8)
Kris Letang
Brian Dumoulin
Ian Cole
Justin Schultz
Olli Maatta
Matt Hunwick
Chad Ruhwedel
Derrick Pouliot


Goaltenders (2)
Matt Murray
Antti Niemi

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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