Penguins notebook: Megna, Marcantuoni star in scrimmage
Much of Penguins prospect camp was dominated by the organization's talented defensive group, but a couple of forwards made their mark Sunday at the annual scrimmage at Consol Energy Center.
Center Jayson Megna scored twice and winger Matia Marcantuoni flashed NHL speed as Team White defeated Team Black, 5-3.
The game was played in front of a crowd that exceeded 5,000 fans.
“I felt good about how I played today,” said Marcantuoni, who was drafted by the Penguins in the fourth round in 2012. “I think speed is my greatest attribute, and I felt good out there.”
Marcantuoni scored the scrimmage's first goal off a pretty feed from defenseman Derrick Pouliot.
Injuries have slowed Marcantuoni during stretches of his junior career in Kitchener — many believe he would have been drafted much higher — but coaches are impressed with his speed and tenacity.
Megna has opened eyes, too.
“He definitely has NHL speed,” Penguins assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald said.
Although the Penguins group at forward isn't blessed with much top-end skill, Megna stood out all week.
The scrimmage Saturday was no different. Megna, who caught coach Dan Bylsma's eye last winter during the team's abbreviated training camp, is feeling good about himself less than two months until training camp.
“It gives you a boost of confidence that you're so close to recognizing your lifelong dream,” he said. “It also was kind of an eye-opening experience.”
Hartzell inks deal
The Penguins helped solidify their organizational goaltender depth by signing goalie Eric Hartzell to a two-year, two-way contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level.
Hartzell led Quinnipiac to the Frozen Four at Consol Energy Center last season and was quickly signed by the Penguins following the tournament. He spent the rest of the season practicing with the Penguins, though he figures to begin this season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the AHL level.
Many of the Penguins were impressed with the 6-foot-4 goaltender last spring.
“He's going to be good,” defenseman Robert Bortuzzo said in June. “You can just tell. He is a big goaltender and he really puts the work in to get better and better.”
Off to Russia
Like last year, Penguins strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar is traveling to Russia this summer to help center Evgeni Malkin train. Former Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar will not train with Malkin and Kadar this summer despite joining them in Russia last year.
Wanted: Goalie coach
The Penguins still haven't named a replacement for goaltender coach Gilles Meloche, but they are interviewing candidates. Former Penguins goalie Brent Johnson has emerged as a candidate and recently interviewed.
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.
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