Afternoon Quick hits
— With NHL GM’s and agents together this week, as expected, there’s a ton of rumblings going around. Here’s a rundown in our NHL Rumor Mill section
— The Penguins are really guarded regarding their draft board but some leaks coming out has wingers Tyler Biggs and Nicklas Jensen at the top of their radar. Those are two prominent targets who fit into the type of player the Penguins look for.
— Some very intriguing skilled players that come with risk are Matthew Puempel, Tomas Jurco and Ty Rattie
Puempel is regarded as one of the drafts best pure goal scorers. Jurco meanwhile has an “amazing skill set, ” Saint John Sea Dogs assistant coach Marc Hussey told me this week.
Ty Rattie has drawn comparisons to Beau Bennett with his vision and creativity in the playmaking department.
— Pittsburgh’s J.T. Miller and Brandon Saad are said to be very much on the Penguins radar, sources say. Despite the questionable drive and worth ethic, I like Saad’s upside over Miller’s. Miller though is a safer pick and whispers are the Penguins like him a little bit more than Saad.
— Was told last night GM Ray Shero and Steve Bartlett, the agent for Tyler Kennedy were scheduled to meet in the early afternoon today. Unless, things really breakoff in this meeting, the Penguins are not expected to trade Kennedy tonight.
As of yesterday, the team was said to not be involved in any trade talks regarding Kennedy.
Things can always change so fast in this business but Shero remains determined to find something that works with the 24 year old.
— Meanwhile, there has been little trade chatter surrounding Matt Niskanen. While no one close to the situation has ruled out Niskanen being moved this summer, the Penguins do remain intrigued about the 24 year old and feel a full training camp with the coaching staff will do him well.
Niskanen is a tough salary to move. He’s due $1.75 million this season and carries a cap hit of $1.5 million.
— Chances of Mike Rupp avoiding free agency has increased considerably in the past 24 hours. Will have story posted within 30 minutes.
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