A closer look at all 41 prospects invited to Penguins development camp | TribLIVE.com

A closer look at all 41 prospects invited to Penguins development camp

Jonathan Bombulie
Staff | Tribune-Review
Niclas Almari works through drills at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ annual prospect development camp at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, Thursday, June 29, 2017.

For recent draft picks, it’s a first taste of life in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. For undrafted free agents, it’s chance to make a good first impression.

Either way, here’s a closer look at the 41 players the Penguins have invited to development campthis week at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.

On-ice sessions begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday and 9:30 a.m. Thursday and culminate with a three-on-three tournament at 7 p.m. Friday. All sessions are free and open to the public.


*Roman Ahcan (LW, 5-9, 161, 20, Wisconsin-NCAA): Minnesota native was a lineup regular as a freshman, posting six goals and 15 points in 37 games while playing primarily a checking-line role.

Jordy Bellerive (LW, 5-10, 195, 20, Lethrbridge-WHL): Bounced back from injuries suffered in a campfire accident last summer to net 33 goals and 83 points in 68 games. Did a three-game stint in Wilkes-Barre at the end of last season and is ready to turn pro.

Chase Berger (C, 6-0, 194, 24, Penn State-NCAA): One of the greatest players in the brief history of the Penn State program. Never missed a game in four years, making 154 consecutive appearances. Second in school history in goals (51) and points (118). Had a goal and an assist in a six-game WBS stint at the end of last season. Signed to an AHL deal.

*Brandon Biro (RW, 5-11, 161, 21, Penn State-NCAA): Alberta native had a big junior year, posting 16 goals and 40 points in 37 games. Scored a handful of clutch postseason goals and will be the team’s captain next season.

*Matthew Boucher (LW, 5-9, 174, 21, U. of New Brunswick): The son of former Penguins defenseman Philippe Boucher scored between 27 and 31 goals in his last three seasons in the QMJHL, but slipped through the draft cracks, presumably due to his size. Went the Canadian college route last season.

Judd Caulfield (RW, 6-4, 205, 18, U.S. National Team Development Program): Drafted in the fifth round last weekend, Caulfield is a long-term project for the Penguins. He’ll head to his hometown school, the University of North Dakota, in the fall. He’s a massive power forward who says he needs to work on his puck skills.

Jan Drozg (RW, 6-2, 174, 20, Shawinigan-QMJHL): Slovenian winger is an under-the-radar prospect. Led junior club in scoring each of the past two seasons. Had 21 goals and 62 points in 60 games last year. Ready to turn pro after a two-game AHL stay at the end of last season.

Liam Gorman (C, 6-2, 188, 19, St. Sebastien’s-HS): Penguins will find out a lot more about the 2018 sixth-round pick when he heads to Princeton in the fall. Known as a rangy, two-way center.

Filip Hallander (LW, 6-1, 190, 18, Timra-Sweden): Second-round pick from 2018 coming off a pretty solid developmental year for a European 18-year-old. Played for Sweden at the World Juniors. Recorded seven goals and 21 points in 45 points in Sweden’s top pro league. Penguins like his skating and all-around game.

Brandon Hawkins (RW, 5-10, 194, 25, Northeastern-NCAA): Second on team in goals (12) and points (33) for the Huskies last season and was named to Hockey East all-Tournament Team. Scored two goals in a five-game WBS trial at the end of the season. Signed to an AHL deal for next year.

Renars Krastenbergs (LW, 6-0, 185, 20, Wheeling-ECHL): Skilled Latvian forward was among the Nailers’ leading scorers with 19 goals and 44 points in 62 games. Was an undrafted free agent invitee to development camp last year.

Nathan Legare (RW, 6-0, 206, 18, Baie Comeau-QMJHL): Penguins traded up to the third round to take him in last weekend’s draft. Finished tied for second in the QMJHL with 45 goals last season. Known as a shooter with a nasty power-play one-timer.

Austin Lemieux (LW, 6-3, 170, 23, Arizona State-NCAA): A veteran of development camp at the building that bears his surname, Lemieux is coming off a remarkable freshman year at Arizona State. He had four goals and 13 points in 31 games to help the school to its first NCAA tournament appearance.

Jake Lucchini (C, 5-11, 183, 24, Michigan Tech-NCAA): The Penguins dipped into the undrafted college free agent pool and signed Lucchini to an NHL deal late last season. The energy-line forward made an impact during a 15-game WBS appearance, scoring six goals.

*Billy Moskal (C, 6-0, 190, 19, London-OHL): Known for his speed and faceoff ability, the only thing missing from the undrafted Moskal’s resume is big points production. He had 14 goals and 36 points in 68 games last season.

Samuel Poulin (LW, 6-1, 212, 18, Sherbrooke-QMJHL): Penguins fans will get a look at the team’s first first-round pick since 2014. He’s got size, competitiveness and a good all-around game. His offensive ceiling is a question mark, but his passing and vision are top of the line.

*Quinn Preston (RW, 5-11, 179, 21, Ohio State-NCAA): Michigan native listed the Penguins as his favorite team on his Ohio State bio. Had five goals and 14 points in 35 games as a freshman with the Buckeyes, but there’s some offensive skill to his game. He was a top scorer in the USHL two years ago.

Valtteri Puustinen (RW, 5-9, 183, 20, HPK-Finland): Fans of his back home call him the Finnish Phil Kessel. He’s a shooter who had 10 goals in 47 games in Finland’s top pro league last season. A seventh-round pick last weekend, he’s 20, so a North American debut won’t be too far off.

*Jared Spooner (LW, 6-0, 174, 23, Minnesota State-NCAA): A two-way player and good all-around athlete, Spooner is coming off a solid sophomore season. Had seven goals and 27 points in 41 games.

*Eduards Tralmaks (LW, 6-3, 205, 22 Maine-NCAA): Latvian forward won a Clark Cup in the USHL in 2017 and has made some highlight reels plays in college with the Black Bears. Had eight goals and 17 points in 36 games as a sophomore last year.

*Bobby Trivigno (LW, 5-8, 146, 20, UMass-Amherst-NCAA): His college coach called him the best forward on the team, the kind of player who makes his linemates better. Had 13 goals and 28 points in 39 games as a freshman last season.

*Josh Williams (RW, 6-1, 185, 18, Medicine Hat/Edmonton-WHL): Hasn’t found the secret to major junior production just yet, recording 14 goals and 33 points in 66 games last season, but he’s a top-five WHL bantam draft pick with a ton of talent.


Calen Addison (5-10, 180, 19, Lethbridge-WHL): Undersized defender’s arrow pointed up after the Penguins took him in the second round of the draft last June. He was among the WHL’s top-scoring defensemen with 65 points in 67 games. Played two games with WBS at the end of the year.

Santeri Airola (5-11, 163, 18, SaiPa-Finland): Penguins made a trade of seventh-round draft picks to secure Airola, who lacks size but skates and moves the puck well.

*Roni Allen (6-0, 201, 20, JYP-Finland): Undrafted defenseman established himself as a regular in Finland’s top pro league as a 20-year-old. Penguins seem interested in getting in on the wave Finland has ridden to the top of international hockey lately.

Niclas Almari (6-1, 180, 21, HPK-Finland): Almari had an eventful few days in early May, winning the Finnish league’s championship and signing his entry level deal with the Penguins in the same week. He plays bigger than his 6-1 frame and has a solid all-around game.

Ryan Jones (6-2, 186, 23, Nebraska-Omaha-NCAA): Indiana native picked in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, Jones has been a stay-at-home regular on Nebraska-Omaha’s blue line for three years now.

Michael Kim (6-0, 201, 23, Boston College-NCAA): One of a handful of college free agents who joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at the end of last season, Kim is a sturdy defender and four-year contributor at BC. He’s on an AHL contract.

*Zachary Lauzon (6-1, 194, 20, Rouyn-Noranda-QMJHL): A second-round pick in 2016, Lauzon is working his way back from concussion-related issues that threatened his career. He committed to play college hockey at the University of New Brunswick in the fall.

*Cam Lee (6-0, 190, 22, Western Michigan-NCAA): Nephew of longtime NHL goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere is a puck mover coming off a strong junior year of college. He had seven goals and 26 points in 37 games.

Jon Lizotte (6-1, 216, 24, St. Cloud State-NCAA): The Penguins followed the undrafted defenseman throughout his senior year and signed him to an AHL deal in the spring. He was the stay-at-home partner to touted free agent Jimmy Schuldt on St. Cloud’s top D pair.

Antti Palojarvi (6-1, 176, 20, Lukko-Finland): A sixth-round pick in the 2017 draft, Palojarvi got his first taste of life in Finland’s top league with a 16-game audition.

Clayton Phillips (5-11, 182, 19, NCAA): According to the reports, the 2017 third-round draft pick is planning to transfer after recording one goal and 10 points in 34 games with the University of Minnesota as a sophomore.

Will Reilly (6-2, 197, 21, RPI-NCAA): A rangy right-handed shooter, the seventh-round pick from the 2017 draft has been a regular on the RPI blue line for three years now. He had five goals and 18 points in 33 games as a junior.

*Liam Ross (6-2, 198, 18, Sudbury-OHL): Undrafted defenseman checks a lot of prospect boxes with good size and skating ability coming off a decent year with Sudbury that included seven goals and 29 points in 68 games.

*Tyler Spott (5-11, 174, 19, Green Bay-USHL): The son of San Jose Sharks assistant Steve Spott is headed to Northeastern after a 29-point season in the USHL.


Alex D’Orio (6-2, 209, 20, Saint John/Baie-Comeau-QMJHL): After earning an NHL contract at development camp two years ago, D’Orio is ready to turn pro. After being traded to Baie-Comeau last season, he went 16-6-1 with an .899 save percentage.

*Matt Jurusik (6-2, 194, 22, Michigan Tech-NCAA): Jurusik’s winding road took him to Wisconsin for two years and the USHL for a season before ending up with Michigan Tech, where he went 9-11-2 with a .909 save percentage last season.

Emil Larmi (6-0, 183, 22, HPK-Finland): Development camp will be the first taste of North American hockey for Larmi, who signed with the Penguins last month after leading HPK to a championship in Finland’s top pro league.

*Matt Murray (6-1, 185, 21, UMass-Amherst-NCAA): Might not be known as the other Matt Murray forever given how his sophomore season went this year. He was 20-5-0 with a .919 save percentage.

*Tommy Nappier (6-3, 194, 21, Ohio State-NCAA): St. Louis native is a big goalie coming off a strong sophomore year for the Buckeyes. He went 12-4-3 with a .934 save percentage.

* — free agent

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review assistant sports editor. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Penguins
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