Penguins prospect Tangradi sets lofty goals
WILKES-BARRE — Because of the trickle-down effect of the NHL lockout, the American Hockey League is as star-studded as it has ever been.
From a pair of No. 1 overall draft picks in Oklahoma City (Ryan-Nugent Hopkins and Taylor Hall) to a pair of Stanley Cup heroes in Manchester (Dwight King and Slava Voynov), blue-chip prospects are stationed in every corner of the league.
Despite that influx of talent, coming into this weekend, only four players in the AHL had scored more goals than Eric Tangradi's six.
“I want to be a top player in this league,” Tangradi said. “I want to be someone defensemen and teams scout to try to shut down.”
There's little doubt the 23-year-old Philadelphia native has accomplished that goal. In his last 82 games with the Baby Pens — the equivalent of a full NHL season — Tangradi has racked up 38 goals.
In 40 career NHL games, however, Tangradi has scored just once.
Does his steady AHL improvement indicate the light is coming on for Tangradi and NHL success is right around the corner? Or will his limitations — his skating, mostly — prevent him from ever being an impact player in the big league?
Baby Pens coach John Hynes is betting on the former, largely because of the kind of goals the 6-foot-4, 232-pound Tangradi is scoring. Of his six goals, one was an empty netter. Add up the distance the puck traveled on the other five and it wouldn't give you a first down.
“He's getting his goals the way he's going to need to get his goals in the National Hockey League,” Hynes said. “He's getting pucks in. He's a dominant factor in the offensive zone. He's moving his feet. He's attacking the net. The way he's playing now is the same game he's going to have to play at the next level.”
Jonathan Bombuli is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.