Well, another development camp for the Pittsburgh Penguins has come and gone. Not only was the four-day camp eye-opening, but director of player development Scott Young for the Penguins feels that a few players may be able to make a difference. He released a ton of information regarding the prospects in an interview with the team’s reporter, Michelle Crechiolo. This is all the information that fans should know.
Young was very excited to release a statement regarding two of the organization’s top prospects. He feels that Nathan Legare and Samuel Poulin have developed nicely. This comes as more of a surprise regarding Legare. During his time in the QMJHL, his skating ability was called into question. To hear Young giving Legare such praise can only point to good things.
Another forward that management is excited about is Kasper Bjorkqvist. The Penguins drafted Bjorkqvist 61st overall in the 2016 NHL draft. Since then, he’s been on numerous teams. He’s played for KooKoo in the Liiga, Finland’s top league, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL and for Providence College in the NCAA. The organization is quite excited about him because they said Bjorkqvist has all of the intangibles to make it in the NHL.
Lastly, there’s an underdog making waves in Pittsburgh. Josh Williams attended the camp after Pittsburgh offered him an amateur tryout contract. Last season, Williams scored 17 goals and 30 points for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL. When a player is putting up those numbers, it’s no wonder why the Penguins wanted to see if he would mesh in the rookie camp. Williams will not be attending training camp, but Poulin, Legare and Bjorkqvist will.
The clear frontrunner defenseman for training camp is none other than Pierre-Olivier Joseph. Pittsburgh acquired Joseph in the Phil Kessel trade with the Arizona Coyotes. He did get some playing time last season, gathering five points in 16 games. However, he still needs to work on his mindset because it was quite evident when he wasn’t in the right state of mind. If Joseph works on that, there’s no question he’ll be an NHL regular.
Another player new to the organization that attended the camp was Isaac Belliveau. Pittsburgh drafted Belliveau 154th overall in the 2021 NHL draft. This being his first time skating with the organization, he really had to step up and prove himself. It’s safe to say that he did, because he’s already on his way to training camp. There, he can further develop his offensive game and learn from players like Kris Letang.
The Lone Goalie
Pittsburgh snagged a top goalie prospect in Filip Lindberg. The Penguins signed Lindberg to a two-year entry-level contract this offseason. To be frank, it was nothing to write home about. However, when fans look at Lindberg’s career so far, he’s become someone to closely watch. To say that he’s been stellar is an understatement.
Lindberg was drafted 197th overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2019 NHL draft, but he decided to play in the NCAA for the University of Massachusetts. In the three years he backstopped the Minutemen, be put up a 1.55 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage. Not only that, but he also posted a shutout in his team’s NCAA national championship game.
Lindberg has definitely become a player to keep an eye on. He will also be heading to the Penguins training camp. There, like Belliveau, he can learn from veteran goalies like Tristan Jarry, Casey DeSmith and newly signed Louis Domingue. It’s certainly an exciting time for the prospects, and it’ll be even more exciting to see who’s going to be on the roster when the season starts.
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