Day 1 Observations
Day 1 of Penguins prospect camp is in the books as the prospects went through testing earlier in the day and an on-ice session this afternoon.
Most of the on-ice drills centered around skill/flow drills, systematic drils such as breakouts/forecheck and 1-on-1 situations.
Here is a full scouting report from today’s skate with players reports (in no particular order).
C/RW Josh Archibald | 5-9, 161lbs | 2011 6th round pick |
Day 1 Report: Among the top performers on day 1. Archibald has excellent speed and was argubaly the best skater on the ice. Really stood out early on in the majority of flow/skill drills.
Archibald also performed extremely well in 1-on-1 drills, using his speed to the outside. Archibald had 27 goals and 73 points (25 games) for Brainerd, High School in 2010-2011.
He centered Paul Thompson and Beau Bennett during lines rushes in breakout/forechecking drills.
LW Eric Tangradi | 6-4, 230 lbs |
Day 1 Report: Tangradi is in the best shape he’s ever been as a professional player and has put on 10-12 lbs of muscle and is just over 230 lbs.
He came into camp listed at 221 lbs and intends to go into training camp around his current weight of 230-233 lbs. The extra weight didn’t look to affect his skating.
Tangradi was impressive in drills where he was able to use his size and strength and he took 2011 1st round pick Joe Morrow to “school” on two occassions in full-ice 1-on-1 drills.
D Philip Samuelsson | 2009 2nd round pick | 6-2, 198 lbs |
Day 1 Report: His straight forward speed is lacking and was really behind the others and struggled during the bulk of flow drills. However, those are the type of drills that no one should expect Samuelsson to be effective in.
He really came on as the session progressed and the group went into breakout/forechecking drills and 1-on-1 drills.
Avoiding the forecheck Samuelsson did well, cleaning up his own end and is very effective in getting his stick in the passing lanes, which is considered a strong suit of is.
In 1-on-1 drills where the forward starts at the goal line and defensemen just inside the circle, Samuelsson got beat a few times when a forward was able to get a step on him (his skating needs improvement) but when he took a good angle, he was locking down on the incoming forward and was very difficult to beat.
D Simon Despres | 2009 1st round pick | 6-4, 218 lbs |
Day 1 Report: It was a good first day for Despres whose attending his 3rd development camp.
From an offensive standpoint, his shot has come a longway from the time he was drafted in 2009. It was a major weakness and he’s put in a lot of work to improve that area of his game and it showed today.
In 1-on-1 drills he was able to just overpower players due to his size and he was a difficult player to get by.
However, one area that he still needs some work on is his lateral and side to side movement. Several players were able to get a step or two on him but due to his long reach and strength, he was able to break plays up. Against NHL caliber players, that won’t be the norm.
Beau Bennett | 2010 1st round pick | 6-1, 173 lbs |
Day 1 Report: Bennett’s dynamic skill set was on display, showing slick hands and a strong skating ability.
Also of note, an area of improvement from last year that I at least noticed was Bennett getting more velocity and power on his shot.
Two red flags I continue to see: He still skates around like he’s a “hot shot” player and he’s still prone to trying to pull a toe-drag fancy move instead of trying to beat defenders wide. He did not perform overly well in 1-on-1 drills.
The need to add more muscle and strength is a must for Bennett next year at Denver, if the Penguins are going to look for him to turn pro in 2012.
Joe Morrow | 2011 1st round pick | 6-1, 197 lbs |
Day 1 Report: Was very noticable in the flow drills early on during today’s skate. Fluid strong skater and has a quick hard release (snap shot/wrist shot).
Scouting reports coming in have also tabbed him as having a booming slap shot from the point and he can really fire it when he winds up.
In the forechecking drills, he was solid in getting the puck out of his zone against the rush, making quick passes.
Defensively in 1-on-1 drills though, he struggled. Got beat a few times, most notably against bigger players who were able to take him wide and drive to the net.
Eric Tangradi had a field day against him.
More Camp Tidbits
*Defenseman Nicholas D’Agostino (2008 7th rd pick) had a very good day. He was among the top performers .
Has some Alex Goligoski traits at 6-foot-1, 180 lbs and with his skating puck moving ability. He was noticable today and he’s a player to keep an eye on. Had 7 goals and 10 assists for Cornell.
The Penguins believe he has a high ceiling.
*Forward Paul Thompson (signed as free agent) caught my eye today. Good skill set, above average skater and has good size at 6-foot-1.
His stick handling ability in traffic was impressive.
Defenseman Scott Harrington (2011 2nd round pick) matched his scouting report. He doesn’t standout in any particular area of his game but he has the tools of a sound defensive player.
He had one bad turnover in his own end during a forechecking/breakout session but was solid for the most part in 1-on-1 drills. Not a lot to go off of yet.
* Forward Tom Kuhnhackl (2010 4th round pick) has some work to do on improving his skating and his body still needs to fill out. He will be returning to the OHL, despite signing an entry level deal with the Penguins.
Forward Bryan Rust (2010 3rd round pick) was a hard competitor today and has really soft hands in around the net. However, he’s never been much of a goal scorer, scoring 6 goals in 39 games for Notre Dame in his freshman season.