The Pittsburgh Penguins will host a prospect development camp July 11-16 at CONSOL Energy Center, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
Highlighting the camp roster is forward Eric Tangradi, who played 15 regular-season games with Pittsburgh in 2010-11, and the team’s previous three first-round draft picks: defenseman Simon Despres (2009, 30th overall); forward Beau Bennett (2010, 20th); and defenseman Joseph Morrow (2011, 23rd).
This is the first year the Penguins have held prospect development camp at CONSOL Energy Center. Saturday afternoon’s concluding scrimmage on July 16 will begin at 3 p.m. and will be open to the public.
The group of rookies and prospects will be in Pittsburgh taking part in on-ice practice and scrimmage sessions, undergoing medical and fitness testing and attending meetings and seminars.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach John Hynes, WBS assistant coach Alain Nasreddine, Penguins assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald, Penguins goaltending coach Gilles Meloche, Penguins player development coach Bill Guerin, Penguins strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar and WBS strength and conditioning coach Joe Lorincz will serve as camp instructors.
Tangradi, 22, saw the first extended NHL action of his career this season, making the Penguins’ opening-night roster and contributing three points (1G-2A) in 15 regular-season games. He also made his NHL postseason debut when he dressed for Game 4 vs. Tampa Bay. Tangradi also spent time this season with WBS, scoring 18 goals and 33 points in 42 games.
Despres, 19, finished a strong season with Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) by helping to lead the Sea Dogs to a Memorial Cup championship. Individually, Despres earned the Emile Bouchard Trophy as the QMJHL’s best defenseman after collecting 41 points (13G-28A) and posting a plus-29 rating in 47 games. Despres was a member of Team Canada’s silver-medalist squad at the 2011 World Junior Championships in Buffalo, N.Y.
Bennett, 19, recently completed his first collegiate season at the University of Denver. In 37 games with the Pioneers, Bennett tallied nine goals, 16 assists and 25 points. A native of Gardena, Calif., Bennett was the highest-drafted California-born player in NHL history when the Penguins chose him 20th overall last June.
Morrow, 18, was the highest-scoring blueliner for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this past season, notching 49 points (9G-40A) and six power-play goals in 60 games. During the postseason, he placed second among all WHL blueliners with 20 points (6G-14A) in 21 games while helping the Winterhawks reach the WHL final.
Other prospects in the Penguins’ system scheduled to attend camp are forwards Josh Archibald, Brian Gibbons, Tom Kuhnhackl, Nick Petersen, Bryan Rust, Zack Sill, Paul Thompson, Dominik Uher, Keven Veilleux and Scott Wilson; defensemen Nicholas D’Agostino, Alex Grant, Scott Harrington, Reid McNeill, Joe Rogalski, Philip Samuelsson and Alex Velischek; and goaltender Patrick Killeen.
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