DePaoli reports on the latest buzz coming out of day 2 and an inside look at five under the radar players Penguins insiders are raving about after today’s scrimmage and practices.
Players on the rise
1. Forward Connor James – Multiple sources I talked to tonight said Penguins scouts were very impressed with Connor James play today. The problem with James is hes stuck behind Tyler Kennedy who is a similar player.
2. Defenseman Danny Richmond – Richmond was a player coming into camp that many insiders were talking about as a one of those sleeper players that will surprise some people. So far, so good for Richmond. Richmond was productive today at both ends of the ice. He knows how to play the position and what impressed the Penguins today was his ability on breakouts
3. Forward Paul Bissonnette – Bissonnette was aggressive and very noticeable on the fore-check. Bissonnette led the team with 6 hits and he made an impression today, according to a source.
4. Defenseman Joey Mormina ‚Äì Mormina uses his size to his advantage and has good positioning . He lacks NHL speed but he doesn‚Äôt run around and was rarely out of position.
5. Forward Jeff Taffe ‚Äì A lot of insiders have been very high on him coming into the season. He has the inside track to be the teams #4 center. Taffe was 4-for-5 on face-offs today.
Inside Analysis ‚Äì From what I‚Äôm hearing the main reason Ray Shero wanted to have Daryl Sydor in training camp was because he didn‚Äôt know what he had in Alex Goligoski, Joey Mormina and Danny Richmond.
It is only one day but if Mormina and Richmond continue their strong play and show they are serviceable 7th or 8th defenseman, Ray Shero may feel more comfortable moving Daryl Sydor. At this moment he doesn‚Äôt and that‚Äôs why Sydor remains in a Penguins uniform.
Goligoski will start the season in WBS. The numbers are against him.
My sources heard good feedback on center Adam Henrich. Henrich centered Connor James and Bill Thomas.
Prospects watch ‚Äì Luca Caputi did not play in the team‚Äôs scrimmage but did practice. He‚Äôs been bothered by a sore hamstring. What was evident during the Penguins rookie camp was evident today from Caputi. He is not the greatest skater but his scoring ability is a notch above any prospect in the Penguins system. Caputi loves to pick corners and his quick release is the difference between other Penguins prospects. Caputi has very good hands around the net. He will be a strong candidate to make the team next year. Still needs some grooming in the minors.
I don‚Äôt know where this talk came from about Dustin Jeffrey having an shot to make the team but there is no chance he makes the 23 man roster. He‚Äôs at least a year away.
More to Come