I am going to assess how the prospects of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization have been doing. This is dated to November 3rd, 2015.
The more I’ve seen of the player, the more detailed the assessment will be. The less I’ve seen of the player, the less information will be given.
I will give you as much as I know about the players. Not much I can do beyond that, not being at the games.
Daniel Sprong – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
After a mesmerizing camp and preseason, Daniel Sprong made the roster from the get-go. He is the first 2nd round pick to jump straight into the NHL since Ryan O’Reilly in 2009. Thus far, Sprong has played 8 of his 9 games before Pittsburgh needs to make a decision to either burn a year off his entry level contract, or send him back down to the QMJHL to finish the season with the Charlottetown Islanders. Over this 8 games, he notched but one point: his first NHL goal against Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators. Averaging around 9 minutes per game, Sprong currently has a Corsi for percentage of 40.91. Often used in the bottom six, he certainly shows the potential to be a top six player. Do not be surprised if he’s kept in the NHL past his 9th game.
Bryan Rust – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Through 2 games in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Rust notched a single assist. He was called up to replace an injured Beau Bennett, but was subsequently injured himself. Rust was doing fine in a bottom six NHL role, and didn’t particularly look out of place. With all of the returned forward depth, however, expect Rust to be re-assigned to the AHL upon his return.
Sergei Plotnikov – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Plotnikov is a KHL import and is currently in his NHL rookie season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Over 8 games, Plotnikov has a respectable corsi for percentage of 55.63 and averages around 10 minutes per game. Plotnikov has primarily been on the third and fourth lines, seeing minimal time on Evgeni Malkin’s left wing. With only a single assist to his name, Plotnikov continues to search for his offensive edge and his first NHL goal. The hits are certainly coming, however.
Conor Sheary – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
Perhaps the most talented left wing prospect in the organization, Conor Sheary led Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in scoring last year. Through 8 games, Sheary currently has 1 goal and 4 assists for 5 points. Sheary is currently averaging 4 shots per game and has 32 shots on the season.
Tom Kuhnhackl – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
Kuhnhackl only returned to the lineup recently, as he was injured in the beginning ofthe season. Over four games, Kuhnhackl has a goal and 3 assists for 4 points, averaging a point per game. Tom is currently shooting at 20%, and is averaging 1.25 shots per game.
Scott Wilson – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
Not exactly the prospect with the highest ceiling, but Wilson is definitely the most NHL ready forward on the Baby Pens. Through 7 games, Scott Wilson has 6 goals and4 assists for 10 points, currently leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in scoring. His estimated points per 60 is 3.88, and his shooting percentage is 26%.
Dominik Simon – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
For his first full season of pro hockey on North American ice…wait, it is?! You sure wouldn’t be able to tell! Through his first 8 AHL games, Simon has 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points, second in scoring for the Baby Pens. This is a very welcomed surprise for the 2015 5th round pick. His shooting percentage is 20%.
Oskar Sundqvist – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
The Swedish forward has been hyped up to be a reliable bottom six center with an admirable defensive game. He’s done nothing to prove that wrong in his rookie AHL season as he’s been doing fine on the penalty kill. In fact, one of his two goals was shorthanded off a nifty pass from teammate Carter Rowney. Sundqvist currently has 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points. With 12 shots on goal, Sundqvist currently averages 1.5 shots per game.
Tyler Biggs – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
Part of the Phil Kessel trade, the first rounder has been shrouded with criticism for his lackluster play since being drafted, and the criticism is wholly justified. Through his first two AHL games, however, the larger forward has a goal and an assist, and is ironically shooting at 100%. As you’d expect, he has 1 shot on goal through those two games.
Matia Marcantuoni – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
The speedy centerman is a healthy scratch now and then, but that could be attributed to the depth WBS has. Currently boasting a goal and two assists through 5games, Marcantuoni’s shooting percentage is 33% as he’s gotten 3 shots on net thus far.
Jean-Sebastien Dea – Wilke-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
Dea needs to further develop his two way game, but his offensive game has been progressing nicely. The small forward currently has a goal and 3 assists through 8 games, shooting at 6%. This can be attributed to his tendency to rip the puck on net, however, as he currently has 18 shots on goal.
Dominik Uher – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
Uher is a fourth line type player at the NHL level, however he needs to produce more at the AHL level. Dominik only has an assist through the first 8 games of the season.
Josh Archibald – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
Currently sharing the same fate as Uher, Archibald only has an assist through the first 8 games of the AHL season. Speedy like Marcantuoni, however as implied before, his offensive game needs some work right now.
Ty Loney – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
The son of Troy, Ty earned himself an AHL contract with WBS after an impressive rookie camp. Through 2 games with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers, Loney got himself 2 goals. Through two games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, he has 2 assists. Not too shabby.
Anton Zlobin – Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)
Although he has essentially missed the past two seasons with shoulder injuries, Zlobin has started the season with Wheeling. He is a player with a ridiculous shot who has some terrible injury luck. Through 2 games in Wheeling, Zlobin is a -1. Those are all the stats given to this point.
Nikita Pavlychev – Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)
The 2015 7th round pick is currently in the USHL, and has committed to Penn State who he will be playing for in the 2016-17 season and following. Through 12 games, Pavlychev currently has 2 goals and 4 assists for 6 points. He’s also amassed a ratherlarge amount of penalty minutes with 37.
Jaden Lindo – Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
Lindo is a big body that can throw hits when he needs to. Not exactly known for his offensive prowess, he is a useful screen on the goalie, in situations like even strength and on the powerplay. Through 15 games, Lindo currently has 6 goals and 3 assists for 9 points. He is, at the moment, a -1.
Teddy Blueger – Minnesota State (NCAA)
Not only has Blueger been struggling this season; Minnesota State as a whole has been struggling this season. Through 8 games, Blueger has 2 goals and 3 assists for 5points. Additionally, he is a +2 and has 4 penalty minutes. Expect Pittsburgh to try and sign Blueger once the Latvian forward’s college career is over.
Frederik Tiffels – Western Michigan (NCAA)
Tiffels currently only has 1 point on the season, but like Blueger’s case, the team has been struggling entirely. Their schedule within the future only figures to get harder, too. The Penguins drafted Tiffels in the 6th round in 2015.
Anthony Angello – Cornell University (NCAA)
Drafted in the 5th round in 2014, Angello will most likely play out his entire college career before turning pro. As of November 1st, according to the Cornell website, Angello has played 2 games in which he’s scored once and notched 2 assists. He’s shooting at 25%.
Jake Guentzel – University of Omaha-Nebraska (NCAA)
As you’d expect, Guentzel is currently the leading scorer for his team. Through 8 games, he has 4 goals and 7 assists for 11 points. Although he’s a long-term project, Guentzel might have a future in the NHL as a top 9 centerman. An offensive minded forward, which is practically a custom to the Penguins, Guentzel is someone you’ll want to look out for in the future.
Blaine Byron – University of Maine (NCAA)
Byron is currently in his junior year, and one of the better forwards on his college team. He’s an offensive player who needs to get faster and stronger, as most young players usually do. Through 7 games, Byron has a single goal and 3 assists for 4 points. Additionally, he has 4 penalty minutes and is a +3. His only goal, evidently, was a short-handed goal. Byron currently has 16 shots on goal.
Sam Lafferty – Brown University (NCAA)
Although he has only played 1 game so far, this was also the game he got his first goal in the season in. Lafferty is a +1 as a result of that goal, and got three shots on goal during the contest. Lafferty is a raw talent and needs to work on many aspects of his game, but his hockey IQ is great.
Brian Dumoulin – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Although he was projected to shift with Rob Scuderi as the 6th defenseman, Dumoulin has probably been the most consistent defenseman in Pittsburgh’s lineup. Not the best, mind you, but the most consistent in a positive way. He’s not exactly an offensive dynamo, but you barely hear his name – which for a defenseman of his playing style, is a great thing. Through 11 games, Dumoulin has a single assist which came from a Patric Hornqvist goal.
Adam Clendening – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Clendening was received by the Penguins as a result of the Nick Bonino trade. He has only played one game, as Rob Scuderi has often taken his spot. One could argue this is a huge mistake by head coach Mike Johnston, as Clendening played fine in the one game he was in the lineup. An offensive minded defenseman, he could be one of the puck-moving defenseman Pittsburgh so desperately needs. Unfortunately, we’ll only be able to see him play if Rob Scuderi is scratched, or if another defenseman is hurt –which Pittsburgh really doesn’t need to happen right now. In his only game, Clendening racked up 4 penalty minutes and was a +1.
Derrick Pouliot – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
Perhaps Pittsburgh’s best defensive prospect, Pouliot is also an offensive minded defenseman who is a natural powerplay quarterback. Although he had a poor preseason – the reason he’s currently in the AHL – he’ll likely be called up to serve for an injured defenseman if that happens. The 2012 8th overall pick, through 8 games, has 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points. Averaging .75 points per game for a defenseman is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. Pouliot has an estimated points per 60 of 2.11.
Reid McNeill – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
Currently a staple in the WBS lineup, McNeill figures to get himself a job in the NHL if his play continues as is, or as one would hope, improves. He is a physical defenseman, and offensive production isn’t exactly his priority in terms of play style. Through 6 games McNeill has no points, however he has 3 shots on goal and has an estimated time on ice of 14.55.
Ryan Segalla – University of Connecticut (NCAA)
Segalla is currently entering his junior season for UConn. Segalla is known for his hard hitting and mean attitude. He does have a small frame, however, so he’ll need to muscle up to further help pair up his body with his play style. Through 5 games, Segalla currently has 1 assist and 2 shots. Additionally, he is a -6 with 4 penalty minutes. Segalla was the first player in UConn’s hockey history to be drafted into the NHL.
Jeff Taylor – Union College (NCAA)
Taylor is expected to be an offensive minded defenseman for Union this season. Given the Penguins aren’t exactly stout on defensive prospects past Derrick Pouliot and those already in the NHL, Pittsburgh may offer Taylor an entry level contract by season’s end. Through 16 games, Taylor has 2 assists and 2 shots on goal. Additionally, Taylor has blocked 9 shots, has 4 penalty minutes and is a -2.
Dane Birks – Michigan Tech (NCAA)
For academic reasons, Birks was scratched for every game of his freshman season. This year, Birks looks to improve on his hockey skills and his academic skills. Through 3 games, Birks has 2 assists and 1 shot.
Matthew Murray – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
After a rookie season in the AHL of setting numerous records, both for rookies and not, Murray is once more the starter for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Looked upon as perhaps one of the better goalie prospects in the hockey world, Murray will be looking to build upon his incredible rookie season. Through 6 games, Murray is currently 5-1-0. The superman goalie has a goals against average of 1.83 and save percentage of .944. Murray is 2nd in the AHL for save percentages and 6th in the AHL for goals against average. Murray also has 1 shutout, tied for 6th in the AHL with numerous others.
Tristan Jarry – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
After many impressive seasons with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, Jarry earned himself the backup position to Murray in the AHL. Don’t discredit Jarry in this regard, however, as very few would find themselves usurping Murray’s metaphorical throne. In his rookie season, through 2 games, Jarry is currently 2-0-0. Jarry currently carries a save percentage of .938 (7th in AHL) and a goals against average of 2.00 (tied for 11th in the AHL).
Sean Maguire – Boston University (NCAA)
Maguire has been riddled with injuries in the past, one even ending his 2014-15 season early. A raw talent, however great, Maguire looks to pick up where he left off and try and prove himself a worthy prospect of the Pittsburgh Penguins goalie depth. Through 3 games, Maguire is currently 1-2-0. He has a goals against average of 3.92 and a save percentage of .839. To be fair, however, the team itself is 3-3, not exactly the apex of hockey excellence.
THANK YOU FOR READING! Perhaps another prospect report will come out in the distant future!