The Pittsburgh Penguins will participate in a three-game rookie tournament September 5-8 at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario – home of the two-time defending Ontario Hockey League (OHL) champion London Knights.
A total of 26 Penguins prospects will be competing against players from the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks.
Pittsburgh’s roster – which has 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders – includes this year’s top draft pick, goaltender Tristan Jarry, and previous first-round selections Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta, who were chosen eighth and 22nd overall, respectively, in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Jarry, whom the Penguins traded up to get with the 44th overall selection in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft, posted the lowest goals-against average (1.61) and highest save percentage (.936) in the Western Hockey League (WHL) while suiting up for the Edmonton Oil Kings last season.
Pouliot (Portland Winterhawks) and Maatta (London Knights) helped their respective clubs win league playoff championships and earn berths in the Memorial Cup tournament in 2012-13. Pouliot averaged better than a point-per-game with 45 points (9G-36A) in 44 regular-season games. Maatta led all London blueliners in goals (8), assists (30) and points (38) during the regular season.
A trio of blueliners looking to make the jump to professional hockey in 2013-14 – Scott Harrington, Harrison Ruopp and Nick D’Agostino – will also suit up in London.
Harrington, who served as London’s captain in ’12-13, was named an OHL First-Team All-Star for the second-straight season. He later scored a goal on his first professional shot for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins during the 2013 Calder Cup playoffs.
The defensive-minded Ruopp established career highs with 15 assists, 132 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating with Prince Albert of the WHL in ’12-13. He was acquired from Phoenix in June 2012 in the Zbynek Michalek trade. D’Agostino played four years of college hockey at Cornell, where he scored 25 career goals.
The roster also features seven players who spent a majority of the 2012-13 season playing professionally with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins – forwards Bobby Farnham, Tom Kuhnhackl, Jayson Megna, Adam Payerl and Dominik Uher, and defensemen Brian Dumoulin and Philip Samuelsson.
Joining Hynes behind the bench will be WBS assistant coach Alain Nasreddine. During the ’12-13 season, Hynes and Nasreddine directed a WBS team that allowed the fewest goals (178) in the American Hockey League (AHL) during the regular season before advancing to the Eastern Conference finals during the postseason.
Pittsburgh plays its first game on Thursday, Sept. 5 at 2 p.m. against Ottawa. The team will play its final two games on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. against Toronto and Sunday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. versus Chicago.
All three games can be heard live on Penguins Radio 24/7 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton broadcaster Mike O’Brien handling play-by-play duties.
Click for a full rookie tournament roster and game schedule:
Thursday, September 5, 2013
2:00 p.m. Game vs. Ottawa
Saturday, September 7, 2013
7:00 p.m. Game vs. Toronto
Sunday, September 8, 2013
2:00 p.m. Game vs. Chicago