PITTSBURGH PENGUINS DEVELOPMENT CAMP 2014
By Dave Fryer, Contributor to InsidePittsburghSports.com
BRYAN RUST, 2010 THIRD ROUND PICK
Completed his senior year at Notre Dame with 17 goals and 16 assists in 40 games. Goal total was a career-high since joining the US National Development Team in 2008. Joined Wilkes-Barre late in the season, had no points in 2 regular-season games and 1 playoff contest. Improved and refined all aspects of his game to be a solid, two-way winger.
Poised to begin his first full season in pro hockey, with WBS being his likely destination. Will need to make his mark in pro hockey as a rugged and reliable winger. Offensive skills have leveled off a bit too much to be a true Top 6 forward, but a checking-line role suits him well with his improved play in the defensive zone.
2014 Development Camp Assessment
The expectations on Rust have shifted over the year to him being a physical, defensively-responsible forward instead of a scoring, power forward. But his scoring touch is starting to show more promise again. He has an improved backhand shot and a good sense for finding loose pucks around the net. He has also significantly improved his north-south speed over the past year. He is now able to get to top speed much more quickly and, as a result, back off defenders a bit more on the rush.
On the camp scrimmage: “The scrimmage was pretty high tempo. I thought it was pretty good. Only having three lines gets pretty tiring, especially in the middle of July. But I thought the pace held up pretty well, and I felt pretty good.”
On playing in front of thousands of fans at Consol Energy Center: “It’s always an unbelievable thing. The fans here in Pittsburgh are awesome! Second-to-none of any team in the league. Just to come out there – even for warm-ups – with that many fans in the stands, it gives you more of an adrenaline rush and makes you play a little bit harder.”
On what he learned at Development Camp: “I just need to keep working hard. That’s what they harped on all week. This is just a stepping stone. This is just a benchmark as to where you are in the middle of the summer. I need to build upon that and build towards the future, towards rookie camp. You gotta know where you want to be when you get there. So that’s what I’m taking from this.”
On the upcoming season: “My goal for the season is to come in the best shape I can be in. I’ll play where ever they put me, but it’ll probably be in Wilkes-Barre, if everything goes well. I’ll try to play as hard as I can to make a good first impression and create opportunities for the future.”