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Insider Only Penguins Prospects Buzz (Stock Up): A look at six prospects where the arrow is pointing up

PENGUINS PROSPECT BUZZ

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Goaltender Matt Murray, WBS Penguins
| 10-7-1, 1.98 GAA, .922 SV%, 3 SO |
TIOPS Prospect Ranking: No. 7
The Penguins 2012 third round pick, Murray has posted excellent numbers in his first pro season with a 1.98 GAA and .922 save percentage to go along with three shutouts. Exciting prospect with excellent size at 6-4, 170 and has made improvements in several key areas the last two years, especially on low shots which was a weakness for him. Penguin officials rave about his composure. Putting himself in position to pass Tristan Jarry as the top goaltender in the organization.

Forward Scott Wilson, WBS Penguins
| 26 GP – 8 Goals – 11 Assists – 19 Points |
TIOPS Prospect Ranking: No. 8
The First year pro is among three prospects (Bryan Rust, Josh Archibald) who turned pro last spring that Penguins officials believed could push for NHL roster spots within a year or two. Wilson has flashed a steady two-way game at the AHL level and scouts feel Wilson could evolve into a potential third line forward at the NHL level. Is a tenacious player with offensive ability and the Penguins are very high on the combination of grit/skill Wilson plays with. Not afraid to play bigger than he is. Wilson has 5 goals and 7 points in his last five games for Wilkes Barre since returning from injury. Is a +14 on the season. Wilson was recalled by the Penguins this afternoon.

Forward Bryan Rust, WBS Penguins
| 28 GP – 10 Goals – 5 Assists – 15 Pts |
TIOPS Prospect Ranking: No. 9
Of all the first year players in Wilkes Barre, Rust has made the biggest impression on Penguins head coach Mike Johnston which led to an extended stay in Pittsburgh and even opportunities to play on a line with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Rust possesses improved North-South speed but what has separated him from someone like Jayson Megna is his much superior play away from the puck. A well coached, developed player at this stage. The longer he was in the NHL, the more he started to fade offensively, but like Wilson has bottom-6 potential at the NHL level. Plays a blue collar game in the way he crashes the net, something the Penguins need more from in their players. Rust was recalled by the Penguins this afternoon.

Forward Jake Guentzel, U of Nebraska-Omaha
| 21 GP – 7 Goals – 16 Assists – 23 Points |
TIOPS Prospect Ranking: No. 11
After Kasperi Kapanen, Guentzel is one of the most gifted forwards in the Penguins system, a group that lacks top-end skill. Guentzel handles the puck with speed and finesse and what scouts really like about him is his vision and how he makes his teammates better. After a 34 point freshman campaign, Guentzel has 23 points in 21 games and is 58.7% in the faceoff circle this season. Certainly a forward in the system with the arrow pointing up.

Defenseman, Jeff Taylor, Union-College

| 24 GP – 4 Goals – 21 Assists – 25 Points |
TIOPS Prospect Ranking: No. 18
The Penguins seventh round pick in 2014, Taylor was among the biggest surprises in the Penguins development camp this past summer and caught the eye of a lot of decision makers in the organization, notably Assistant GM Bill Guerin. Taylor is a sleek skater and very smooth with the puck. He’s having an excellent sophomore campaign and is currently the highest scoring defenseman in D-1 with Notre Dame’s Robbie Russo.

Forward, Conor Sheary, WBS Penguins
| 35 GP – 13 Goals – 7 Assists – 20 Points |
TIOPS Prospect Ranking: No. 19 |
Whether he has any future in the NHL remains to be seen but Sheary continues to prove to be an offensive weapon with 13 goals in 35 games.

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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