The Pittsburgh Penguins will hold a prospect development camp July 12-17. Among those players scheduled to attend are Eric Tangradi
and recent NHL Entry Draft first-round selections Simon Despres
(2009) and Beau Bennett
The group of rookies and prospects will be in Pittsburgh taking part in on-ice practice and scrimmage sessions at Southpointe, undergoing medical and fitness testing at the UPMC Sports Medicine Complex on the South Side and attending meetings and seminars at Mellon Arena.
The instructors will be Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Todd Reirden, WBS assistant coach John Hynes, Penguins assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald, Penguins goaltending coach Gilles Meloche and Penguins strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar.
Tangradi, 21, a former second-round draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks who was acquired with Chris Kunitz
in February 2008, completed his first season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last year. The 6-foot-4, 221-pound left winger finished with 17 goals, 39 points and eight power-play goals in 65 games. The Philadelphia, Pa. native finished eighth in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with 88 points (38G-50A) in 55 games for Belleville in 2008-09. Tangradi added eight goals and 21 points in 16 playoff games for the Bulls.
Despres, 19, the 30th-overall selection in 2009 by Pittsburgh, completed his third season with Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) by setting career highs across the board in goals (9), assists (38), points (47), plus-minus rating (plus-26), power-play goals (4) and game-winning goals (4). He followed the regular-season campaign with an impressive postseason, recording 19 points (2G-17A) and a plus-14 rating in 21 contests.
Bennett, 18, who was the Penguins’ first-round pick (20th overall) in this year’s NHL Entry Draft, will attend his first Penguins development camp. Bennett, who will play at the University of Denver this season, led the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) in scoring with 120 points (41G-79A) in 56 games for the Penticton Vees. The Gardenia, California native, who is also the highest drafted California-born player in NHL history, chipped in five goals and 14 points in 15 playoff games.
Other prospects in the Penguins’ system scheduled to be in Pittsburgh are forwards Kenneth Agostino, Andy Bathgate, Joey Haddad, Ben Hanowski
, Dustin Jeffrey
, Tom Kuehnhackl, Nick Petersen
, Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Zack Sill and Keven Veilleux
; defensemen Robert Bortuzzo
, Nicholas D’Agostino, Viktor Ekbom, Alex Grant
, Reid McNeill
, Joe Rogalski
, Carl Sneep
, Brian Strait
and Alex Velischek
; and goaltenders Patrick Killeen
, Mattias Modig
and Brad Thiessen