Tag Archives: Pittsburgh Penguins

BELLERIVE MAKING WAVES AS PENGUINS NAB FIRST WIN OF 2017 PROSPECTS SHOWCASE

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Pick after pick went by at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in Chicago back in June, 86, 87, 89… it kept going. 154, 155, 156… and so on and so on until 215, 216, 217. The draft was over.

Jordy Bellerive never heard his name.

After an impressive year with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, not one of the 31 NHL clubs felt that Bellerive could help their team advance in the future. Even though he was at first understandably rocked by going undrafted, he’s looking on the brighter side.

“It’s something you look forward to your whole life,” Bellerive said. “You try and battle throughout the whole year trying to get that opportunity for a team to take you, then to not get drafted, obviously that was disappointing. But some things happens for a reason. I really think it turned out well for me. It really motivated me for the summer. I put a lot of hard work in, which I think is paying off. So I’m okay with it now.”

With the chip still freshly engraved on his shoulder, Bellerive is using it to leave a big time impression as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2017 Prospects Showcase. The 18-year-old forward now leads the tournament with four goals on the heels of tallying a hat trick in the Penguins first win of the weekend, a 6-2 triumph over the New Jersey Devils.

Just over one minutes into the contest, Bellerive notched slid a rebound across the goal line. As the Devils caught fire early in the third period and started forging a comeback, Bellerive poured cold water on them with yet another tally, and later added a third score to complete the hat trick.

Bellerive gave partial credit to his offensive outburst to the confidence he gained by scrounging up a goal in the Pittsburgh prospects’ first game on Friday.

“To get that first one out of the way quick, it showed, hey, I can play. I belong here. I got some confidence and tried to do it again today. It worked out for me again, I guess.”

Bellerive isn’t the only one believing in himself at this point either. His performance has coach Clark Donatelli singing his praises, as well.

“I don’t know his whole body of work and what he’s done before this, but so far so good,” Donatelli said. “If you’re going off this, then yes he definitely should have been drafted.”

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What’s particularly impressed Donatelli and other Penguins brass has been Bellerive’s ability to contribute in this fashion offensively despite limited ice time. Most of the minutes through two games have been dedicated to Penguins prospects already under contract, like Zach Aston-Reese, Daniel Sprong, Teddy Blueger, Thomas Di Pauli, etc. But every time Bellerive has stepped onto the ice, one can’t help but notice.

“Coming in being a fourth line guy, I expected to not get the most ice time. So I told myself whatever ice time I got, that was an opportunity to do something special.”

He’s been exactly that so far. Special. Now there’s more than enough reason for him to hope this weekend is just the start to a lengthy pro career.

“Hockey’s a long run. I’m not too worried about [going undrafted] anymore.”

 

OTHER NOTES:

In addition to Bellerive’s hat trick, the Penguins got their fair share of puck luck in their victory over the Devils prospects, too. First period goals by Teddy Blueger and Thomas Di Pauli both redirecting off of Devils defensemen and in.

Much like Friday, Sprong continued to be snakebitten despite a bevy of scoring chances. When the puck finally fell right for him, it was on a one-timer that left his stick with such velocity, it went rocketing right through the equipment of Devils goalie Ken Appleby and across the goal line. It was quite a shot, but the kind of delivery we’ve come to expect from Sprong.

The Devils’ two goals that beat Penguins goalie Alex D’Orio both went bar-down. Otherwise, it was an impressive showing from the 18-year-old tender when New Jersey had its chances.

Zach Aston-Reese dropped the gloves and fought Devils D-man Steve Santini late in the third period. Aston-Reese got into a scuffle by the Devs’ bench and Santini stepped in with less than diplomatic intentions to solve the conflict. Both players got good punches in, but Aston-Reese ended up with the takedown.

The Penguins have a practice scheduled for Sunday afternoon, then they face the host Buffalo Sabres in the final game of the tourney at 7:35 p.m. on Monday.

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MEET THE PENGUINS: 2017 NHL Entry Draft Recap

2017 Draft logoThis is your one-stop shop during the 2017 NHL Entry Draft! Whether or not you’re following along with the television broadcast or just hitting the refresh button on mobile, Skating on the Susquehanna is exactly where Penguins fans want to be on draft night.

Unless some deals are struck, Pittsburgh won’t make its first selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft until the very last pick of the first round. So we’ll be updating this live blog with anything interesting happening in the first round leading up to the Penguins’ pick at 31. After that, we’ll only cover every one of Pittsburgh’s picks on Saturday.

Every player selection will be accompanied by a detailed scouting report, so you know exactly who’s just joined the organization and who could be suiting up for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton someday down the line.

This blog was updated LIVE throughout the draft festivities on Friday and Saturday, and has since been reorganized to show the Penguins’ picks in chronological order first. You can scroll all the way to the bottom to see old updates from our first round coverage:
Continue reading

WHERE GUENTZEL’S STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS PERFORMANCE STACKS UP ALL-TIME

No matter how hideous you think he sounds on the phone, “Jake From State Farm” has been dominating the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fans knew about Jake Guentzel’s skills and scoring prowess for about a full calendar year before hockey fans around the globe were introduced to his jaw-dropping capabilities. He’s not a secret anymore, and everyone has taken notice of his historic postseason production.

Guentzel scored his playoff-leading 10th goal on Monday night, making him just the fifth rookie in the league’s 100-year history to achieve double digits in goal-scoring in one postseason. He also has four game-winning goals, tied for the most by a rookie in history, too.

Ten goals isn’t the all-time record, though. Here’s a look at some of Guentzel’s peers in the history books. Who’s he chasing? Who has he surpassed? These are the names and faces he will be associated with when people talk about the finest rookie performances the Stanley Cup Playoffs have ever seen. Continue reading

PROSPECT ROUND-UP: Lafferty roaring to life in junior season

Jan. 12, 2017
blog_laffertyIn Sam Lafferty’s first draft year, there was little hype surrounding the slim forward at Deerfield Academy. He returned to prep school for an explosive season, and received an unexpected call the following summer.

Lafferty had been drafted.

Not only was he now property of an NHL club, but the Hollidaysburg, Pa. native was taken by his favorite team: The Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins are in all likelihood very pleased with their 2014 fourth round pick, as he’s enjoying by far his best season of college hockey at Brown University at the moment. He has 22 points in 15 games this season which leads in team. In fact, he’s coming off a four-point performance (1G-3A) in Brown’s last game, a 7-4 loss to New Hampshire on Jan. 8.

Last Sunday was Lafferty’s second four-point game and sixth multi-point showing this season, signaling that his outburst this season is not a flash in the pan and likely to continue throughout the year. In his freshman year at Brown, he had 12 points in 31 games. Lafferty regressed to 10 points in 31 games the next season, but this year, he’s been Brown’s most reliable offensive weapon in addition to playing a responsible defensive game, as well.

OTHER NOTABLES:

Daniel Sprong returned to action for the first time this season over the weekend, recording one assist in his season debut with Charlottetown and throwing 12 shots on goal in two games. Sprong is playing in the QMJHL after sustaining a shoulder injury last summer that kept him out for seven months.

Troy Josephs, Pittsburgh’s seven round pick in 2013, had a two-assist outing in Clarkson University’s last game on Jan. 7 vs. Rennesslaer. Josephs has five points in his last four games, and has 15 points in 18 games this season with the Golden Knights.

No. 1-ranked Penn State went a month between games, and returned with a weekend series split with No. 14 Ohio State. Nikita Pavlychev had an assist in the Nittany Lions’ 4-2 win on Jan. 7. The six-foot-seven centerman and 2015 seventh rounder centers Penn State’s third line, and is second on the team with 22 penalty minutes.

The Daily Penguin – Dec. 8, 2016

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Be excited, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton hockey fans, because Jake Guentzel and Derrick Pouliot are back in Northeastern Pennsylvania (CitizensVoice.comTribLive.comPost-Gazette.com)

Those in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton locker room speak about the team’s success in St. John’s (TimesLeader.com)

The defense duo of Justin Schultz and Ian Cole is finding success similar to that which they had in last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs (TribLive.com)

Pittsburgh is focused on continuing its speedy style, but reining in its opponents’ chances moving forward (Post-Gazette.com)

The Daily Penguin – Dec. 7, 2016

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Since coming back from a first-quarter injury, Conor Sheary has been big for the Pittsburgh Penguins (TribLive.com)

Pittsburgh’s video coach (and former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton video coach), Andy Saucier, getting some kudos for his behind the scenes influence on the Penguins’ success (Post-Gazette.com)

Justin Schultz has thrived in his new role with the Penguins organization (NBCSports.com)

 

OPPONENT NEWS

Hershey: He’s not quite Tom Kostopoulos, but Bears captain Garrett Mitchell speaks about his long tenure with Hershey (PennLive.com)

The Daily Penguin – Nov. 30, 2016

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Seth Lakso of The Citizens’ Voice recounts the journey to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s first shutout of the season (CitizensVoice.com)

While the WBS penalty kill has been dynamite all season, Pittsburgh is searching for answers to its P.K. woes (Post-Gazette.com)

Jim Rutherford admits he has a tall task in front of him balancing the two top goaltenders he has in Pittsburgh (Post-Gazette.com)

 

OPPONENT NEWS

St. John’s: The IceCaps were defeated easily by Syracuse last night (TheTelegram.com)

St. John’s: Rookie goalie Charlie Lindgren has emerged as the reliable backstopped for the IceCaps even in the face of tons of shots (TheTelegram.com)