Reese seeks to be piece of Pens' picture
One of the many events delayed by the NHL lockout was Dylan Reese's quest to play for his hometown team.
A 28-year-old Harvard grad from Upper St. Clair, Reese played 74 games for the New York Islanders over the past three seasons before signing with the Penguins in July.
Reese has been solid if unspectacular in Wilkes-Barre, leading Baby Pens defensemen in scoring with a modest 12 points in 29 games. At plus-1, he's one of just five players on the team with a plus-minus rating in the black.
“I think I'm a two-way defenseman, good skater, good puck mover, good retriever,” he said. “That's what they want here. They have a great offense in Pittsburgh. It's one of the best in the world. For me, it's just about moving the puck up the ice and playing the least amount of defense as I can.”
While Reese is a longshot to start the season in the NHL, there's a good chance he'll get the call at some point.
With a 48-game schedule condensed into about 100 days, bumps and bruises are inevitable. The last time the NHL played a lockout-shortened season, the Penguins used 17 forwards, 12 defensemen and four goalies in 1994-95.
Well-known prospects such as Eric Tangradi, Beau Bennett and Simon Despres probably will fill most of those spots, but not all of them. There also will be room for players such as Reese and the six other AHL-NHL bubble free agents the Penguins signed for organizational depth in the first two weeks of July.
A look at the six other newcomers:
Trevor Smith: A 6-foot-1 center who is a better shooter than playmaker, Smith played 16 games for Tampa Bay last year. The Baby Pens' most consistent veteran scorer.
Benn Ferriero: After scoring seven goals in 35 games in San Jose last year, this fourth-year pro with a right-handed shot looked like a darkhorse to win an NHL job in July. He's struggled in Wilkes-Barre, however, scoring once in his past 11 games.
Warren Peters: As a 10-year pro, Peters knows exactly what his role is. He is asked to win faceoffs, kill penalties and play with grit. He won 54.8 percent of his draws while playing 58 NHL games on Minnesota's fourth line last season.
Phil Dupuis: A reliable bottom-six option who played 30 NHL games for Toronto last year, Dupuis has been a disappointment in Wilkes-Barre. He has no points and a minus-9 rating in his past 10 games. No relation to Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis, though they're both from Laval, Quebec.
Riley Holzapfel: Atlanta's second-round pick in 2006, Holzapfel was underwhelming in his first four pro seasons. He hasn't been bad for the Baby Pens, though, posting 21 points in 35 games as a second-line center or wing and showing some chemistry with Bennett.
Jeff Zatkoff: Although he has cooled since winning AHL goalie of the month honors in November, the 25-year-old former Los Angeles Kings draft pick has supplanted Brad Thiessen as the top call-up option in net.
Jonathan Bombulie has covered the Baby Pens for the Citizens' Voice in Wilkes-Barre since the team's inception in 1999. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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.
- Penguins trade Sutter to Canucks, sign free agent center Fehr
- Sutter: Staal effect felt on 3rd line with Penguins
- Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed
- New Pens winger Fehr ready for defense-first role
- Reliving the moment a decade ago that shifted the Penguins' history
- At Carnegie Mellon University, hockey analytics enjoys rebirth
- Penn State goaltender Skoff gets chance to impress the Penguins
- Penguins’ Rutherford talks Maatta, Kessel and pricey third line
- Pens assistant GM Fitzgerald leaves for Devils
- Penguins to appear on national TV 18 times in 2015-16