There were 34 players invited to take part in the Pittsburgh Penguins 2012 Developmental Camp and Scrimmage. The Camp came to a conclusion today with a scrimmage that was held at the Consol Energy Center starting at 3pm today that was Free and Open to the public. There looked to be almost 7000 people there and “It Was A Great Day For Hockey!”
It was the Black Team vs. the White Team today, and the talent was spread evenly throughout. The White team ended up prevailing today, but it was not really about the score. As far as players that stood out and the play of the players overall, here is a breakdown.
Team Black was stacked starting with Standout Joe Morrow. Joe was the Penguins 1st round draft pick last season, 23rd overall and he played like it. He handled the puck well and positioned himself well separating the puck from the player several times with timely hip checks and poke checks. He was strong during both periods of play.
I was also impressed with Brian Dumoulin, recent pickup from Carolina. Brian was part of the Carolina trade that sent Staal to the Hurricane. He started to really assert himself by the second period of play. He also is another player with good puck skills, along with the fact that he was rarely caught out of position. Brian is 20 years old and still developing, but you can definitely see the skill he possesses.
Derek Pouliot looked out of place at times, and really looked young amongst the talent that was assembled today. He did not play poorly, but he by no way asserted himself out there. And I noticed that during the simulated shootout after the first period, when it was his turn to participate, he quit on his rush about 3/4’s the way towards the Goalie. Not sure what exactly the reason was, but I was disappointed to see that.
I watched Oskar Sundqvist all day on the black team and could not help but think that was Jordan Staal out on the ice. He played well, has great balance and size, and knows how to handle the puck. He also completed a very pretty pass to himself off his own pads around a defender on a rush during the first period of play. He is still very raw, but I thought that he really stood out to me.
As far as Team White, the real standout today was Simon Despres, but I think that was expected. Simon is a tremendous defender, and is only getting better. He is someone this team will be able to depend on going forward. He has great stick play, knows how to play the body and last but not least, he is never caught out of position. He passes well, and can shoot well for a defense man. The best part about this kid is the fact that he is still only 20 years old with lots of time and development left. He is a a future first line defense man, which is important to this Penguins team, as some of their most experienced defense man are getting older.
Olli Matta was another one of the Penguins 2012 number one draft picks, and he looked very similar to Pouliot. I had to watch for him, he really did not stand out. Though from what I saw today, he does play around the net well. He is another guy that we will not any time soon.
Andrej Sustr is a defense man that was undrafted. He has tremendous size, though he does not use his size well. At no point did I see him use his size as the advantage that it shoul have been. Andrej is 6’7″ 225lbs but does not play that big at all. Philip Samuelsson played well, though he looks much smaller on the ice than I expected. The Roster states he is 6’2″ 192, but he is narrow and still has to grow into that frame of his. Philip plays defense and scored during a simulated shootout at the end of the game.
Offensively speaking, the White Team waited until the second period when Matia Marcantuoni scored on a wrister up close. Antoine Laganiere broke free to slap one past Goalie Faragher from the Black Team also. Ryan Faragher played well in net for 3/4’s of the day, but struggled late. As far as the Black Team goes, Reid McNeil scored on a penalty shot in the 1st period. It was a nice move but Sean Mcguire, who played goal for the White team, struggled between the pipes letting in some easy ones. Zach Sill also chipped in a goal for the Black Team today.
The Black Team really controlled the puck for a better part of the first 35 minutes. After that, it was all White Team. Here are some more photos from the day.
All Photo’s today were taken by Jason Havelka of Penslabyrinth.com