Rookie Tournament: Leafs beat Penguins 3-1


*Based in Southern Ontario, Junior “A” talent evaluator Brian Kelly is a special contributor to Inside Pittsburgh Sports, covering the 2009 Rookie Tournament. Kitchener, Ontario – The Pittsburgh Penguins top prospects got their first look at Swedish goaltender Jonas Gustavsson Sunday night in the Penguins opening game in the 2009 Rookie Tournament. Gustavsson was strong in net making 36 saves and leading the Maple Leafs to a 3-1 win. The Maple Leafs got goals from Alex Berry, Viktor Stalberg and Greg Scott. For Pittsburgh it was a game they would like to move on from. They were outworked and out chanced as the Leafs were the faster and more physical team. Brian Burke is quickly building the Leafs system into one of the NHL’s best. Pittsburgh saw that first hand tonight. Evaluations on Tangradi, Veilleux, Grant & more A few bright spots for Pittsburgh on the night was goaltender PatrickRead More »

Jeffrey will be given opportunity to be #4 center on the depth chart


The Pittsburgh Penguins will hold their 2009 prospect camp from Saturday, Sept. 5 to Thursday, Sept. 10 in Kitchener, Ontario. Penguins’ prospects will compete in a Rookie Tournament at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium against prospects from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins. The annual rookie tournament is a great opportunity for young forward Dustin Jeffrey to make an early impression to the Penguins staff before training camp begins on September 12th. Of all the prospects invited to training camp, Jeffrey has the best shot of making the team. In fact, the Penguins plan to give Jeffrey a prime opportunity to win the 4th line center job. The organization would like to play Michael Rupp and Craig Adams on wing, which will open a spot for Jeffrey. Pascal Dupuis will move to the 2nd line to open camp. Dupuis is expected to be given the first shot to playRead More »

3-4 prospects will be pushing for top 9 forward spots by 2010-2011 season


Day 2 Prospects Report The top three performers through the first two days of the Penguins conditioning camp have been Keven Veilleux (2007, 2nd round pick), Eric Tangradi (2007, 2nd round) and Nick Johnson (2004, 3rd round pick) Johnson, 23, is a late bloomer who was among the most improved players at last years conditioning camp. After having a strong playoff run in to end first professional season (10 pts in 12 games) for Wilkes Barre/Scranton, Johnson’s game continues to evolve. At 6-2, 200 lbs, Johnson uses his size very well and has speed to beat defenders wide. Plays a strong two-way game, has an above average shot and a quick

Prospect Nick Johnson looks to build off of strong playoff run


Prospect Profile: Nick Johnson Height: 6-2/ Weight: 197, Age 23 2008-2009 stats (ECHL) Wheeling: 18GP – 14G-10A-24pts (AHL) WBS Penguins: 54GP – 14G-17A-31PTS/ Playoffs: 10pts in 12 games Prospect Nick Johnson (3rd round pick, 2004), is viewed as a late bloomer in the prospect circles as he was born on December 24th, 1985. With less than three years of professional experience, Johnson earned an invite to the Penguins Prospect camp (TIOPS will cover the entire event), which will be held next week. A four year player at Dartmouth College, Johnson was regarded as the Penguins prospect who showed the most improvement from team scouts at last years prospect camp which was held in Kitchener, Ontario. Johnson made the jump to the American Hockey League mid-way through the 2008-2009 campaign and posted 31 points in 54 games. As the season went on, Johnson adjusted to playing against bigger, stronger players andRead More »