Eric Tangradi recorded his second career hat trick, leading the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 3-1 victory over Bridgeport on Friday night. Wilkes Barre improved to 8-6 on the season and have won eight of ten since starting the season 0-4.
Tangradi scored three power play goals in the win, giving him a team-leading 9 goals on the year. Tangradi scored with a wrist shot from the left hash mark at 1:32 of the first period, pounced on a Benn Ferriero rebound at 15:57 of the first period for his second goal of the game and scored on a redirection in front at 13:36 of the second period for a hat trick.
Tangradi's 9 goals tie him for second in the AHL in goals with four others and his 5 power play goals are tied for first in the AHL. With those numbers, some fan sites will be pegging him as Sidney Crosby's long-term winger for the next 10 years by the morning.
On a serious note, Tangradi since last spring continues to show signs that he gets it. Tangradi has been regarded as figuring out what he does well and what he needs to do to be successful. In the offensive zone, scouts have had good things to say about Tangradi getting to the right areas and learning to use his size to his advantage.
For a player that some feel is an NHL player, Tangradi is having the type of season he should be in his fourth professional season. That's been the positive for Tangradi in his development but until he is going up against NHL competition, don't get carried away at his performance in the AHL as he's always been a points producer in the minors. However, the improvement Tangradi has shown in some key areas, more scouts than not believe he's going to have an NHL career as a role player who can chip in on the power play. One area though he will have improve if he doesn't ever develop into a top-6 forward, is his defensive zone play. It's still not where the Penguins would like it to be I'm told.