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Insider Only Prospect Camp: Day 2 Scouting Report, Buzz & Observations

Day 2 Report
Here are some player reports, buzz and observations from day 2 of Penguins prospect camp:

Keven Veilleux vs Simon Despres from William DePaoli

Simon Despres: I never try to over-rate a player’s abilities, based on what I see in a prospect camp, but 2009 first round pick Simon Despres continues to show how close he is to being NHL ready.
The Penguins are said to want Despres to get top pairing minutes in Wilkes Barre and learn the system before a full time callup but when a players ready he’s ready.
If Despres comes into camp and performs like I think he can, I for one see no issue with the Penguins working him in slowly and playing a 3rd pairing role as the No. 6 defenseman. However, I’m not sure the Penguins see it that way.
Despres had a very strong day and was dominanting play when the group went into 3-on-3 play down low. Despres was just too big and strong for the others, scoring 2 quick goals.
As I mentioned yesterday, his shot has come a long way from the time he was drafted.
Defensively, he has been strong in 1-on-1 drills and as the video indicates, players have struggled to get around Despres due to his long reach and strength.
The one area I see that Despres needs some work on is with his lateral and side to side movement.

3-on-3 down low drills from William DePaoli

Video: Black Team: Beau Bennett No. 19 | Josh Archibald No. 15 | Andrew Blazek No. 10 |
White Team: Scott Harrington No. 8 | Bryan Rust No. 12 | Brian Gibbons No. 17 |
Eric Tangradi: Tangradi told me today he is tired of playing in the minors and is really motivated to become a regular with the Penguins.
Tangradi is in excellent shape and is really chizzled right now and is doing his part to be a force from a physical standpoint in training camp.
Tangradi has added 10-12 pounds of muscle and believes the extra muscle will actually lead him to play at a more high pace than he was able to last year.
“I’m 232 right now and looking to be around 230 for start of camp. I want to make an impact, play confident and a focus for me has been to play at a higher pace than last year, ” Tangradi said.
A big question mark is whether a spot is going to open for Tangradi. On the depth chart at left wing, he has Chris Kunitz, James Neal and Matt Cooke in front of him.
To earn a top-9 role, which is what it’s going to take for Tangradi to make the team on a full time basis, he’s going to need one of those three players to move to right wing, which is possible or Tangradi play the off-wing, which I asked him about today.
“I’m comfortable on both left and right side, ” Tangradi said. {Regarding depth chart at left wing| “From the indications,

there isn’t a job that is secure {in the top-9} going into camp. I’ve been told that there is going to be an opportunity for me. Just up to whether I can go out and reach for it, ” Tangradi said.”
Beau Bennett: Bennett has really shot the puck well, did so today and that continues to be an area of his game that has improved since he was drafted.
Can pick corners extremely well and really impressed with his ability to keep his head up when shooting which is a knock on younger players.
The skill set is already there but two things you want to see from him next season at Denver is maturing as a player (less pickup time hockey) and continue to add strength.
Bennett is hopeful to be playing at 205-208 lbs next season.
Paul Thompson: Having a strong camp and was among the top performers today. Was always around the puck during 3-on-3 down low drills.
Very crafty player who has a look of a complete player (all around game) with potential top-9 abilities.
More Day 2 Tidbits
*Defenseman Nicholas D’Agostino (2008 7th round pick) continues to be one of the top performers in camp. Good offensive instincts but he’s been solid defensively in drills.
*Watching Tom Kuhnhackl more closely today, he really has some power forward attributes, once his body feels out. Has a strong power move when driving to the net from the outside.
*Bill Guerin has been pretty vocal in camp, taking players to the side and giving instruction.
*Any questions about others I haven’t touched base through first two sessions, post questions in comments forums and I will get them answered later today — D
Notes: Not yet confirmed but looks like the Penguins are adding some minor league goaltending depth with the expected addition of Scott Munroe who played in the KHL last season.
Monroe, 29, spent the majority of his AHL career with the Philadelphia Phantoms. From 2005-2010, he went a combined 83-64 with a 2.52 GAA for the Phantoms and Bridgeport.
On April 24, 2008, Munroe was the winning goaltender in the longest AHL game ever played.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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