The Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins (13-7-0, 26 pts) had a big weekend against division leading teams, defeating Syracuse 5-3 on Friday night and St. Johns 5-3 on Saturday night. Wilkes Barre has won five straight and are winners in 11 of 13 games. After struggles early in the year, the Baby Penguins are now tied for second in the conference with 26 points and right now are playing like one of the best teams in the AHL.
Some Buzz I’m from Hearing from Down on the Farm
REESE MAKING GOOD IMPRESSION ON STAFF
— Dylan Reese had a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 5-3 win and leads all WBS defenseman with 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists) and is second among defenseman with a +4 (Robert Bortuzzo 1st among D-men +6). Reese has been an ideal fit in John Hynes system and I’m hearing Reese is making a good impression on head coach Dan Bylsma where Reese might be putting himself in position to be the first callup defenseman if there’s NHL hockey this season. Reese has been the type of addition Pittsburgh had hoped and I’m told the Penguins staff is high on Reese’s hockey IQ and instincts as he picks his spots well in jumping up in the play and he’s no slouch in the transition game. He’s a player the Penguins staff feels they can trust.
ON POTENTIAL OBSERVERS SEE FROM BENNETT AS A POWER PLAY PTS PRODUCER DOWN THE ROAD IN NHL
— Top forward prospect Beau Bennett has a team leading 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) and has points in eight of nine games. Bennett had an assist in Saturday’s win and the Penguins have been extremely pleased to this point on the transition he’s made to professional hockey. For now he’s holding up physically and he see’s the ice at a higher level than a lot of others in the AHL. Bennett’s excellent vision and playmaking ability has observers seeing great potential for Bennett as a power play points producer down the road in the NHL. Bennett still has a ways to go in his overall game and becoming less of a perimeter player but the Penguins brass is thrilled at where he is right now.
SILL COULD BE NHL REGULAR BY 2013-2014 SEASON
Zach Sill returned to the lineup this weekend after missing 17 games and Sill has a very good chance of being a strong contender for an NHL roster spot next season. Sill is an excellent forechecker, a strong penalty killer and plays a great all around energy game on most nights. The sense from evaluators I get is that Sill will be playing in the NHL for somebody in the next couple years. The Penguins see a lot of similarities between Sill and Joe Vitale but Sill could emerge as the slightly better around player.