Tagged: Pittsburgh Penguins

Adam-Payerl

Pittsburgh Penguins‘ undrafted rookie center Adam Payerl(28) had himself a pretty successful first year with AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins playing mostly a fourth line role of limited minutes, designed to consistently infuse energy into a game when it’s your call to hit the ice.

The 6’3″ 219 lbs. big frame forward successfully achieved that each and every time he jumped over those boards and managed to get even better with his first taste of postseason hockey as a pro.

In 44 games he scored 3 goals and 7 assists, then in 15 Calder Cup Playoff contests got another tally and a pair of helpers but mostly seemed to be that guy to turn the momentum of a game when it was necessary.

He was never a real prolific on the score sheet through 5 years of juniors, but in his last season with Belleville Bulls he did put up some decent numbers with career highs for goals, points and penalty minutes.

The 22-year old is signed through 2014/2015 on a three-year entry level deal that could heed a call-up to the show if they are in need of a big body to help create space for the parent club (and it’s looking like they could use that sort of player).

Original story: 6/8-13

In his sophomore season he once again found himself in and out of the farm club’s lineup playing 43 AHL contests but managed to score a career high 5 goals and 11 points with 5 fighting majors.

His hard-nosed play was enough to earn him a first NHL recall and in 2 games with the parent club he managed to skate an average of 14 shifts for 9 or so minutes of ice and had 4 shots on net, six hits, 2 penalty minutes and a -1 rating in two team wins.

That would be his only appearance in the show and he was an early training camp cut sending him back down to the minors for his contract year.

In 2014/2015 he doubled his fisticuffs total to 10 but played in less games and was absent from the roster in the playoffs for the first time.

He actually didn’t do half bad in the postseason with 3 goals, 2 assists in 28 games and an even plus/minus.

With no takers heading into his fourth season, the big 24-year old signed a one-year deal with Cincinnati Cyclones to continue his game in the ECHL, where he played only four games for Wheeling Nailers (1 goal, 1 fight) as a first year player.

If he can play with a take-no-prisoners type attitude, he easily could find his way back up the ladder with a recall.

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Colin McDonald2

New York Islanders‘ 8th year veteran right wing Colin McDonald(13) started the current campaign on the roster but was having a tough time finding an open spot.

After only a couple of NHL games with no points, he was put on waivers and reassigned to affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the first time in a long while.

Over the last 4 years in the AHL the 6’2″ 205 lbs. power forward averaged over 40 points, while in his time spent up with 3 teams in his pro career he has a none too shabby 16 goals and 20 assists in 124 games but is a sort of abysmal -22 plus/minus.

In 40 games this year he’s helping out with 14 goals and 21 assists and definitely provides needed leadership on a still young squad.

Signed only through the end of 2015, it will be interesting to see where the 30-year old will take his game next.

The former Edmonton Oilers‘ 2nd round pick in the 2003 draft (#51 overall) definitely has the ability to help out a checking line but may be looking at a trip overseas is probably a better bet.

Original story: 2/7-15

He would get recalled the very next day and started contributing immediately earning that spot on the roster and not looking back.

Although he would level off and was a healthy scratch for games down the stretch he did appear in a pair of playoff games.

Turning 31-years old as the new season approaches it’s probably a good time to switch up the scenery and he’s signed a one-year two-way deal with Philadelphia Flyers for 2015/2016, but I would not put it by him to make the big club out of training camp and fit in just nicely.

See related: 4/22-12

Scott-Harrington

Pittsburgh Penguins‘ 2nd round pick in the 2011 draft (#54 overall) defenseman Scott Harrington(6) is having exactly the kind of building block rookie year right out of the gate playing games with minor league affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

In 23 AHL games he has a pair of tallies and 6 assists with a +7 rating. He also appeared in a pair of 2013 playoff games, scoring his first professional goal.

The 6’3″ 205 lbs. blue liner plays mostly a solid, stay-at-home style but did show he can contribute on the score sheet in four years of junior hockey with London Knights.

He also won a pair of OHL Championships serving as team captain in the most recent title grab.

The 20-year old is signed to a three-year entry level deal that keeps him in the prospect system through 2016.

He could easily receive his first NHL recall this season but may also stay put to help the farm club go deep in the postseason.

Original story: 12/12-13

He would finish his first season with AHL career highs full schedule 76 games played, 5 goals, 19 assists and 24 points, then appeared in 16 postseason contests playing a mostly stay-at-home style with just one helper.

To start his sophomore season, he was a late cut from Pittsburgh training camp and would be recalled on 5 different occasions playing his first 10 NHL games.

He would record no points with a -10 rating.

On reassignment he played 48 games with WBS Penguins scoring 2 goals and 10 assists with a third team best +19 rating.

He also skater all 8 playoff games with one assist and a +2 plus/minus.

Heading into the final year of his entry level deal he was dealt to Toronto Maple Leafs as part of the Phil Kessel trade.

The now 22-year old should definitely give them something to think about come training camp. He may start his third season with affiliate Toronto Marlies but chances are he will get himself into a lot of action with the big club.

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Brian-Dumoulin2

Originally a Carolina Hurricanes‘ 2nd round pick in the 2009 draft (#51 overall), rookie defenseman Brian Dumoulin(8) signed a three-year entry level contract with the team but was traded to Pittsburgh Penguins in the Jordan Staal in a draft day deal.

The 6’3″ 210 lbs. blue liner won an NCAA Championship last season with BC Eagles before deciding to turn pro after three years.

With no NHL in sight at the start of his rookie season, he was reassigned with every eligible player to their AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barres/Scranton Penguins. In 31 games he has a pair of goals and 7 assists.

For a big guy d-man he did show an offensive upside at the college level and would be quite the asset if he can parlay that talent consistently in the big leagues.

It’s quite possible that he’ll get a quick look at Penguins‘ training camp when it starts up next weekend.

Original story: 1/9-15

His first year would finish with a nice 6 goals and 18 assists but a not so great -11 rating. He continued to improve in his Calder Cup Playoff debut getting 2 goals and 6 assists in 15 contests.

In his sophomore campaign his minor league totals fell very slightly but he played 20 less games, while scoring his first recall and making his first 6 appearances with the parent club. He would get his first point, an assist in his second game.

Upon his return to the Baby Pens he would come up with a new personal best 3 goals and 9 assists in 17 postseason match-ups.

A late training camp cut to start 2014/2015 he was summoned fairly early for 8 games and got his first NHL goal before being sent back putting up AHL career high 29 assists, 33 points and a crazy good +25 plus/minus.

His sturdy, steady play earned him a spot on the Stanley Cup Playoff roster, where he skated all 5 first round games with no points and a +1 rating.

Once again returning to the farm team to help them with their postseason push he notched three assists in 6 games bowing out in the second round.

Pittsburgh has given him a 2-year extension and it looks like the soon-to-be 24-year old will be playing his first full season in the show.

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Reid-McNeill

Pittsburgh Penguins‘ 6th round pick in the 2010 draft (#170 overall) defenseman Reid McNeill(3) plays an almost unassumingly solid stay-at-home style.

He’s in the final season of his three-year entry level deal, signed after skating a few campaigns of junior hockey in the OHL.

The towering 6’4″ 215 lbs. d-man has never put up much on the score sheet but is showing an increasing upward tick to his penalty minutes and fighting majors.

He was credited with throwing down the gloves 11 times in 55 AHL games last season.

All that time in the box has yet to sour his accountability on the ice either, as he’s currently holding a +12 rating.

The young 22-year old is definitely being looked as an up-and-comer working his way up from his rookie season start in the ECHL with Wheeling Nailers.

Now that he’s become a fixture on the blue line for minor league affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins it still may take a bit more seasoning until he finds a spot on the parent club’s roster.

Original story: 10/24-14

Following a career season with high marks of 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points, the big stay-at-home d-man re-signs for two more years to stay in the prospect system.

His shutdown style game could score the recently turned 23-year old a first NHL recall on a parent club that may be looking for some help in their own zone.

9th year defenseman Alexandre Picard(45) signed a one-year two-way deal with Pittsburgh Penguins shortly after free agency started in the offseason.

With 243 NHL games to his credit (19 goals, 46 assists), he is looks to be mostly considered a 6th or 7th defenseman.

He’s off to a good start this season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL. In 12 games, he has 1 goal and 4 assists but it’s the +9 that’s getting most of the attention.

Into his second recall, he’s already a +5 with the Pens in 7 games with no points.

Original story: 12/1-11

After skating 17 games with Pittsburgh recording 4 assists with a +4 rating and playing 12 Calder Cup Playoff games getting 6 assists, he decided that he would try his game overseas joining HC Lev Praha of the KHL but suffered a shoulder injury and was later released.

After only appearing in 11 games in the 2012/2013 season, he moved on signing a one-year deal with Graz 99ers of Erste Banke Liga.

The 6’3″ 215 lbs. d-man would once again go elsewhere and departed for DEL, where he inked to play with ERC Ingolstadt.

Now 29-years old he’s decided to head to yet another country agreeing to lace up the skates for HC Fribourg-Gotteron of NLA.

There’s no telling if he’ll finally settle but chances are probably not.

 

Tom Kostopoulos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15th year, right wing Tom Kostopoulos(29) is another veteran player coming full circle in his pro career.

He signed a pto with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins late-ish last season, a team he is very familiar with from 369 regular season and playoff games and two seasons as captain, a position he currently holds for them again. He more than any other player is synonymous with this franchise and is their all-time leading scorer.

Six weeks before the end of the season, he was given a deal with Pittsburgh Penguins but grabbed from the waiver wire by New Jersey Devils. He skated in 15 games and scored one goal.

He appeared in 17 more AHL games before scoring another contract bringing his overall totals up to 465 games in the league, 136 goals and 233 assists to his credit.

Signed to a minor league contract for 2013/2014 through the Penguins‘ parent club, he’ already putting up point-per-game numbers with 3 goals and 5 assists in 7 games.

The former Pittsburgh 7th round pick in the 1999 draft (#204 overall) is mostly known for his tough to play against, agitating presence, which has kept the 6′ 200 lbs. forward at the highest level of hockey for 630 games.

His scoring proficiency might not be what it is in the lower league at 61 goals and 94 assists but he also plays a vastly different role as mostly a fourth line skater.

He’s also a -48 plus/minus in the NHL, whereas he has a great +30 in the A.

The 34-year old has always managed to find his place throughout his dozen plus seasons but he’s likely looking at an imminent transition into a great coaching career, as he’s been a mentor to his teammates for as long as anyone can even remember.

Original story: 11/6-13

Now 36-years old, he continues to lace up the skates signing his third contract to continue as captain of Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins for 2015/2016.

He’s managed to put up 40+ points in each of the past two seasons and will like reach that mark for the 8th time in the AHL.

His highest totals were in the 2004/2005 lockout, where he amassed 71 points for Manchester Monarchs before embarking of 9 straight years in the NHL with Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils.

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Taylor-Chorney3

Pittsburgh Penguins‘ 7th year defenseman Taylor Chorney(44) spent the last pair of seasons exclusively in the minors while under contract with St. Louis Blues.

Previously he’d skated in at least a couple contests each campaign, and spent over half of 2009/2010 with draft team Edmonton Oilers (2005 round 2, #35 overall). He’s appeared in 65 NHL games scoring a goal and 5 assists.

The 6’1″ 201 lbs. blue liner has reached 20+ points in the AHL five times, including his 4 goals and 16 assists mark this season.

He’s received a pair of recalls and played in 4 games, increasing his time on ice to 24 shifts for 15:24, including 1:38 on the power play and 2 shots on net, 2 hits and one break up.

The 27-year old is only signed through the end of the season but could extended to stick around in eastern Pennsylvania.

Corey-Potter5

Almost a month after his 2nd recall from affiliate Adirondack Flames, Calgary Flames‘ 9th year defenseman Corey Potter(28) finally got into a couple of games to extend his streak of big league appearances to seven seasons in a row.

In 125 NHL big league contests, for two seasons with Edmonton Oilers he appeared in games only at the highest level and has skated the bulk of his games with the Canadian club (111).

Otherwise, he’s had a few nods here and there: from draft team (4th round in 2003, #122 overall) New York Rangers over a couple of seasons, 1 with Pittsburgh Penguins and most recently 3 looks from Boston Bruins after being grabbed off waivers.

The 6’3″ 205 lbs. has played 352 AHL games scoring a modest 28 goals and 125 assists but is an absolute mammoth of on ice accountability with an overall +97 rating.

At 31-years old he still has some more seasons left in the tank but it’s a bit of a wonder if he gets another major contract or plays out his time in the minors mentoring prospects and heads into coaching when it’s time to finally hang up the skates.

See related: 3/28-11

Matt-Murray

Pittsburgh Penguins‘ 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft (#85 overall) goaltender Matt Murray(30) is having a spectacular first season with minor league affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

He’s recorded an 18-8-2 mark in his rookie campaign, which started with a shutout in his first appearance of the season.

The 6’4″ slim 174 lbs. net minder just set a new AHL scoreless streak at 3:04:11 without letting in a goal.

He blanked the competition four straight games in the process and then was only scored on with 1:11 remaining in his fifth straight win. He managed to stop 130 shots on net before letting one in.

The former Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound is signed through 2016/2017 and with continued good play and a strong playoff showing could find himself suited up as the NHL back-up for the parent club in his sophomore season.