Penguins prospect Teddy Blueger returned to Pittsburgh this summer for the organization's annual development camp after finishing his sophomore season with Minnesota State University. He posted 26 points (4G-22A) in the 40 games that he played.
Blueger’s 22 assists ranked third on the team, and he tied for fifth overall in team scoring. But he also learned the importance of a strong mental game and how it can improve your season.
“I think we had a good year,” Blueger said. “For me, personally, there were a lot of ups and downs. I learned a lot about the importance of the mental side of the game. You’re not always going to be playing the way you want to be and things aren’t always going to be going your way.
“I think (I learned) about how to prepare yourself better and how to get yourself out of slumps and focus on the little things to get your production rate going.”
The 19-year-old forward tallied one goal and two assists in Minnesota State’s 4-1 win over Ferris State in the championship game of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Final Five playoff tournament.
Additionally, the Riga, Latvia, native laced up for his country at the 2014 World Junior Championship in Poland, where he had four assists in seven games.
Blueger, standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing 185 pounds, was selected by the Penguins in the second round (52nd overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft. He’s no stranger to Pittsburgh and utilizes the camp to improve his skill set each summer.
“It’s been awesome,” Blueger said. “Coming here for camp every year has been a great experience and the staff and the rest of the guys are great. It’s hard work, but it’s a lot of fun at the same time and you gain a lot of valuable experience as a player. It gives you an opportunity to grow and evolve your game.”
He also has another connection to Pittsburgh and the Penguins. He played prep hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary’s High School in Minnesota, which is the same school that produced Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.
Blueger finished a noteworthy senior season for Shattuck-St. Mary’s in 2011-12 by notching team-best totals of 24 goals, 64 assists and 88 points in 51 games. The same year, he led the team to a second-straight USA Hockey National Under-18 championship.
And Blueger knows just what he needs to do to hopefully follow in Crosby’s footsteps and one day play in the NHL
“Just working on speed and playing fast,” Blueger said. “Just pushing the pace and being able to be more of a shoot-first kind of guy and be more of a threat to shoot than always looking to pass.”