Development camp roster
The Penguins today released the 37-player roster for development camp next week at Consol Energy Center.
Nothing glaring stands out, although it‘s interesting that defenseman Clark Seymour was invited as a free agent. The Penguins drafted Seymour in the fifth round in 2012 but chose to let his rights lapse. Not on the roster is goaltender Eric Hartzell, who signed with the Penguins after a strong college career at Quinnipiac. He is under contract through next season but is out of his entry-level deal and therefore not eligible under the Penguins‘ rules.
The oldest players are 24-year-old defenseman Nick D‘Agostino, a seventh-round draft pick in 2008 who has been playing in the Penguins‘ minor-league system, and Alex Boak, a free agent who last season played college hockey at Clarkson and in the ECHL with Penguins affiliate Wheeling.
The youngest player is forward Kasperi Kapanen, the Penguins‘ first-round pick in last month‘s draft who turns 18 a few days after development camp. As you might have seen on Twitter @pgshelly or on the breaking news portion of the Post-Gazette website, Kapanen has signed a three-year, entry-level contract. It kicks in when he turns pro. Penguins management really likes Kapanen, and there have been suggestions that Kapanen could possibly make the team out of training camp. More likely, he will return to Finland for one more season.
Here is the roster.
We promised earlier in the week that when the roster came out we would try to project which player(s) would have the best chance of playing in the NHL this season. It stands to reason that the top choices would be defensemen, considering that young defensemen Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot are recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and coach Mike Johnston said he doesn‘t expect them to be ready for the start of the season. (Pouliot will be at development camp but won‘t be on the ice, so we are not including him in our list even though he‘s got a great shot at playing in the NHL this season).
Below is that guess, in order of likelihood to play in the NHL in 2014-15. This is not to say any of these players will be on the opening-night roster, but are candidates to play at some point. Feel free to chime in with your guesses in the comment section below.
1. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin, 22, has size and poise and played in six games with the Penguins last season.
2. Defenseman Scott Harrington, 21, who also has decent size and can move the puck well.
3. Defenseman Reid McNeill, 22, who also has good size and plays a physical game.
4. Forward Kasperi Kapanen, 17, a long-shot but worth including because of the Penguins‘ high regard for him and the fact he has played in the top Finnish league the past two seasons.
5. Forward Adam Payerl, 23, a tough customer who played in two games with the Penguins last season.
6. Forward Oskar Sundqvist, 20, great size and could be a good third-line winger, but most likely will spend another season playing in Sweden.
7. Defenseman Harrison Ruopp, 21, a stay-at-home guy with some physical presence.
8. Forward Jean-Sebastian Dea, 20, undersized but has speed and skill.
9. Forward Tom Kuhnhackl, 22, who has lots of skill but has been plagued by injuries and just hasn‘t quite gotten his act together.
10. Forward Josh Archibald, 21, a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award with Nebraska-Omaha last season.