PENGUINS SIGN NICLAS ALMARI TO ATO

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed defenseman Niclas Almari to an amateur tryout agreement for the 2017-18 season. Almari returns to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after accepting an ATO and training with the club in April of 2017.

Almari, 19, just completed his second professional season with HPK-Edustusjääkiekko Ry of the Finnish Liiga. In 41 games with HPK this season, Almari notched four goals and four assists for eight points. At times throughout the season, Almari, a native of Espoo, Finland, was loaned to Lempäälän Kisa and Espoo United of the Mestis, Finland’s second professional league. In 13 combined contests in the Mestis, Almari racked up four assists.

At the expiration of the regular season, Almari was assigned by HPK to its junior club for the Jr. A SM-liiga Playoffs. In five postseason games, he scored twice and added an assist for three points.

The Pittsburgh Penguins selected the defenseman in the fifth round (151st overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Following the draft, Almari began his professional career with HPK. Almari completed the 2016-17 campaign with HPK’s junior club for a 10-game stint in the Jr. A SM-liiga playoffs. HPK U20 won the Legacy Bowl that year, and Almari topped all defensemen during the playoffs in assists (10) and points (11).

The Penguins’ next game is today, Saturday, Mar. 31, when they host the Providence Bruins for the second time this week. Puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Individual tickets for the final four home games of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 19th season of hockey are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

TOM KOSTOPOULOS NAMED PENGUINS’ MAN OF THE YEAR

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are proud to announce that Tom Kostopoulos has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Northeast Pennsylvania community during the 2017-18 season.

In his 19th season of professional hockey, Kostopoulos remains an active part of the community and an example for younger players on the roster. A fan favorite since his first season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 1999-2000, Kostopoulos prefers to avoid the spotlight when given the chance, but regularly visits local schools and plays a role in organizing an annual appearance at Back Mountain Memorial Library, where he, other players and Penguins mascot TUX read to children. Also, the Penguins captain heads up the team’s holiday gift giving initiative each year, for which players purchase and deliver Christmas gifts to local kids in need.

This is Kostopoulos’ first selection as IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year in his AHL career.

The Penguins captain is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2017-18 Yanick Dupré Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupré Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League at a later date.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Friday, Mar. 30, when they travel to Connecticut to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack for the final time this season. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Saturday, Mar. 31, and they’ll host the Providence Bruins. Saturday’s puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Individual tickets for the final four home games of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 19th season of hockey are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS SIGN DANE BIRKS TO ATO

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed defenseman Dane Birks to an amateur tryout agreement for the 2017-18 season.

Birks, 22, just completed his third season with Michigan Tech University and posted career highs in goals (5), assists (13), points (18) and games played (44). Over the course of his three years of collegiate play, Birks accumulated seven goals and 23 assists for 30 points in 117 games.

Before attending Michigan Tech, Birks competed at the junior-A level in the British Columbia Hockey League for the Trail Smoke Eaters and the Merritt Centennials. The Merritt, British Columbia native totaled nine goals and 32 assists for a total of 41 points across 112 BCHL games. During his time with the Centennials, Birks was named the team’s Rookie of the Year in 2012-13 and Defenseman of the Year in 2013-14.

Birks was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the sixth round (164th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Following the draft, Birks won a bronze medal as a member of Team Canada West at the U-19 World Junior A Challenge in November of 2013.

Pittsburgh inked Birks to a two-year, entry-level contract on Mar. 27, which will begin in the 2018-2019 season.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Friday, Mar. 30, when they travel to Connecticut to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack for the final time this season. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Saturday, Mar. 31, and they’ll host the Providence Bruins. Saturday’s puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Individual tickets for the final four home games of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 19th season of hockey are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PITTSBURGH SIGNS DANE BIRKS


The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Dane Birks to a two-year, entry-level contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Birks’ deal will begin with the 2018-19 campaign. He will report to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this week on an amateur tryout contract.

Birks, 22, has played the past three seasons collegiately at Michigan Tech, improving his offensive totals in all three of his seasons. This year, Birks had five goals, 13 assists, 18 points and a plus-10 in 44 games.

A 6-foot-2, 200-pound native of Merritt, British Columbia, Birks wrapped up his career at Michigan Tech with seven goals, 23 assists and 30 points with a plus-27 in 117 contests.

Originally the Pens’ sixth round (164th overall) pick in 2013, the righthanded-shooting Birks spent two-plus seasons in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) before attending school. Birks split his time in the BCHL between the Trail Smoke Eaters and the Merritt Centennials, logging the majority of his action with his hometown club. In 112 career BCHL games, Birks amassed 41 points (9G-32A). He was Merritt’s Rookie of the Year in 2012-13, and its Defenseman of the Year in 2013-14.

Birks represented Canada West at the 2013 World Junior-A Challenge, helping his squad capture the bronze medal.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Wednesday Mar. 28, when they host the Providence Bruins. Puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for the final five home games of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 19th season of hockey are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 3/27/18

 

Well-traveled Penguins come home for big showdowns with P-Bruins

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (38-20-6-2) hosts Providence in potential playoff preview

 

Weekly Rewind

Tuesday, Mar. 20 – Penguins 3 at Toronto 4 (OT)

The Penguins gave the top team in the league all it could handle, throwing 40 shots on net and coming back from down 2-0, but fell short in extra minutes against the Marlies.

Friday, Mar. 23 – Penguins 4 at Utica 5 (OT)

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s resiliency was on display once again, this time erasing a 3-0 deficit to force overtime. However, an early OT marker gave Utica the win. With two points (1G-1A), Daniel Sprong reached the 50-point plateau.

Saturday, Mar. 24 – PENGUINS 5 at Binghamton 4 (SO)

For the third game in a row, the Pens required extra time. In the eighth shootout round, Garrett Wilson scored so the team remained undefeated in five contests against the Devils.

Sunday, Mar. 25 – PENGUINS 3 vs. Bridgeport 6

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s penalty kill was put to the test, having to defend 11 man advantages for Bridgeport. Despite two power play goals early in the final period, the Pens were unable to construct a comeback to force OT again.

 

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, Mar. 28 – PENGUINS vs. Providence

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will face Providence for the fifth time this season. The Penguins look to gain the lead in the season series, which is tied at two wins apiece.

Friday, Mar. 30 – PENGUINS at Hartford

The Penguins travel to Hartford for the final time this season. The Pens are 10-1-1-0 at XL Center over the past five years.

Saturday, Mar. 31 – PENGUINS vs. Providence

Big points are on the line as the Pens and P-Bruins compete for a potential four-point swing for the second time in four days.

 

Ice Chips

– By scoring on Saturday, defensemen Jarred Tinordi (4) and Andrey Pedan (8) both established new career highs in goals.

– With his goal on Sunday, Pedan totaled 22 points (9G-13A) this season, surpassing his previous career-best 21 points in 2015-16.

– Daniel Sprong is currently ranked in the top four in three different categories among AHL rookies. He’s placed second in goals (24), third in shots (164) and is tied for fourth in power play goals (9).

– Michael Leighton is 3-0-0-0 in his time with the Penguins with all three wins coming beyond regulation against the Binghamton Devils.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. Lehigh Valley 68 42 17 4 5 93 .684
2. Providence 66 40 21 3 2 85 .644
3. PENGUINS 66 38 20 6 2 84 .636
4. Charlotte 68 39 26 0 3 81 .596
5. Bridgeport 66 32 26 5 3 72 .545
6. Hartford 68 30 30 5 3 68 .500
7. Hershey 68 28 31 4 5 65 .478
8. Springfield 67 28 33 5 1 62 .463

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 55 24 27 51
Jean-Sébastien Dea 61 15 27 42
Teddy Blueger 61 17 21 38
Ryan Haggerty 38 16 19 35
Garrett Wilson 60 15 19 34

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith^ 27 16-8-3 2.73 .910 2
Anthony Peters 22 10-7-3 2.78 .902 1

* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                           TIME    

Wed, Mar. 28   Providence       Mohegan Sun Arena         7:05 p.m.

Fri, Mar. 30      Hartford            XL Center                             7:15 p.m.

Sat, Mar. 31      Providence       Mohegan Sun Arena         7:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Tue, Mar. 27     (G) Alex D’Orio                                 Signed to ATO

Tue, Mar. 27     (LW) Jan Drozg                                 Signed to ATO

Fri, Mar. 23       (RW) Josh Jooris                    Reassigned from PIT

Fri, Mar. 23       (D) Kevin Schulze                   Released from PTO

PENGUINS SIGN ALEX D’ORIO AND JAN DROZG TO ATOs

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed goaltender Alex D’Orio and forward Jan Drozg to amateur tryout agreements for the 2017-18 season.

D’Orio, 18, just completed his second season with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Québec Major Junior Hockey League. In his rookie season during 2016-17, D’Orio helped the Sea Dogs win the QMJHL championship and clinch a spot in the 2017 Memorial Cup Tournament. During his 28-game rookie campaign, D’Orio posted a 2.40 goals against average, a .903 save percentage, one shutout and a 19-2-2 record. D’Orio ended his most recent season with a 4.01 goals against average and a .895 save percentage amassed over (44) games as the Sea Dogs’ number one goaltender.

After going undrafted in 2017, the Pittsburgh Penguins invited the goaltender from Sherbrooke, Québec to the 2017 Prospects Challenge in Buffalo, New York. D’Orio started all three games for the Penguins’ prospects during the tournament, going 2-0-1 with a .905 save percentage and a 2.64 goals against en route to he and his teammates finishing with the event’s best record.

Pittsburgh inked D’Orio to a three-year, entry-level contract on September 13, 2017.

Drozg was drafted by Pittsburgh in the fifth round (152nd overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The forward who will turn 19-years-old on Sunday, Apr. 1 just finished his first season of North American hockey playing for the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL. In the 61 games of the Slovenia native’s rookie season, Drozg led the team in assists (34) and points (50).

Prior to being drafted by the Penguins, Drozg played junior hockey in Sweden for Leksands. The Leksands junior program has produced current NHL talent such as Victor Rask and Filip Forsberg, as well as former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Niclas Andersén.

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Wednesday Mar. 28, when they host the Providence Bruins. Puck drop between the Penguins and P-Bruins is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Individual tickets for the final five home games of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 19th season of hockey are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 3/20/18

Penguins maintain strong record against rival Bears, now contend with league-leading Marlies

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (37-19-4-2) travels to Toronto, then has three-in-three weekend

 

Weekly Rewind

Tuesday, Mar. 13 – Penguins 5 at Charlotte 2
Though the Checkers struck first, the Penguins used two rounds of scoring bunches to defeat the Checkers. Zach Trotman scored in his first game back from injury.

Wednesday, Mar. 14 – Penguins 1 at Charlotte 3
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s second showdown with the Checkers in two days was less successful than the first. Tom Sestito notched the Penguins’ only goal of the game.

Saturday, Mar. 17 – PENGUINS 1 vs. Hartford 4
The Penguins struggled to solve Wolf Pack goalie Chris Nell, who stood tall through an 18-shot barrage in the second period. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton also held Hartford to three shots in the middle frame, tied for fewest allowed by the team this season.

Sunday, Mar. 18 – PENGUINS 6 vs. Hershey 4
Étienne Marcoux earned his first AHL victory as the Penguins overcame a 3-1 deficit after one period to defeat the Bears. Thomas Di Pauli’s two goals helped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton improve to 8-0-1-1 against Hershey this season.

 

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, Mar. 20 – PENGUINS at Toronto
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton takes on Toronto for the second time this season after winning, 4-2, in the clubs’ pervious meeting. However, the Marlies own the league’s best record, 44-17-1-1, and have allowed the fewest goals in the AHL (135).

Friday, Mar. 23 – PENGUINS at Utica
The Penguins travel to Utica for the first and only time this year, looking to avenge their pervious 5-4 overtime loss to the Comets. Utica has only won two of its last 11 games, but forward Cameron Darcy has five points (3G-2A) in his last five contests.

Saturday, Mar. 24 – PENGUINS at Binghamton
The Penguins look to go a perfect 5-0 against the Devils this season when they face-off on Saturday. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s last three games against Binghamton have gone to OT.

Sunday, Mar. 23 – PENGUINS vs. Bridgeport
Kids Get In Free Sunday showcases a Bridgeport team scratching and clawing to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Penguins are 2-0-1-0 against the Sound Tigers this season.

 

Ice Chips

– Daniel Sprong is tied for second among AHL rookies in goals (22)

– Teddy Blueger leads the AHL with four overtime goals.

– Blueger had his first three-point night of the season and second of his career on Sunday, scoring a goal and two assists.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. Lehigh Valley 66 42 16 3 5 92 .697
2. PENGUINS 62 37 19 4 2 80 .645
3. Providence 64 38 21 3 2 81 .633
4. Charlotte 66 37 26 0 3 77 .583
5. Bridgeport 64 31 25 5 3 70 .547
6. Hartford 66 29 29 5 3 66 .500
7. Hershey 66 27 30 4 5 63 .477
8. Springfield 65 28 31 5 1 62 .477

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 51 22 25 47
Jean-Sébastien Dea 57 13 25 38
Teddy Blueger 57 17 20 37
Ryan Haggerty 35 16 15 31
GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith^ 27 16-8-3 2.73 .910 2
Anthony Peters 22 10-7-3 2.78 .902 1

* = rookie
^ = on recall to Pittsburgh

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                               TIME        

Tue, Mar. 20     Toronto            Ricoh Coliseum                       7:00 p.m.

Fri, Mar. 23        Utica                 Utica Memorial                       7:00 p.m.

Sat, Mar. 24      Binghamton    Veterans Memorial Arena    7:00 p.m.

Sun, Mar. 25     Bridgeport       Mohegan Sun Arena             3:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Tue, Mar. 20     (G) Étienne Marcoux             Released from PTO

Mon, Mar. 19     (G) Tristan Jarry                    Reassigned from PIT

Sun, Mar. 18      (RW) Josh Jooris                                Recalled by PIT

PITTSBURGH RECALLS JOORIS


The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled forward Josh Jooris on an emergency basis from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Jooris, 27, has played in two games with the Penguins since being acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes at the Trading Deadline. Overall this year, Jooris has skated in 33 NHL games with the Pens and Hurricanes, producing six points (3G-3A).

The Penguins hit the road for a three game road trip, starting on Tuesday night against the Toronto Marlies.  They return home next Sunday, March 25, to face the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 3:05pm.  It’s another Kids Free Sunday, with children ages 14 and under admitted for FREE with a paid adult ticket.  It’s also Princess Day, and our friends from A Moment of Magic will be on hand to greet the young fans.  We’ll also be celebrating the career of local hockey pioneer Don Tweedy on the afternoon.

Tickets are available by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7367.

Contact Us

PITTSBURGH REASSIGNS JOORIS TO WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON

The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-assigned forward Josh Jooris to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Jooris, 27, skated in two games with Pittsburgh over the weekend. He has played in 33 NHL contests this year split between the Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes, recording six points (3G-3A).

The Penguins’ next game is tomorrow, Wednesday, Mar. 14, and their opponent will be the Checkers once again. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is the team’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration as they face-off against the Hartford Wolf Pack on Saturday, Mar. 17.

Puck drop between the Penguins and Wolf Pack is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Individual tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 19th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

Contact Us

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 3/13/18

 

Penguins play Checkers tonight, tomorrow, and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (35-17-4-2) makes first visit to Bojangles’ Coliseum since 2011 playoffs

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Mar. 9 – PENGUINS 3 at Binghamton 2 (OT)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went to overtime with Binghamton for the third-straight meeting, and the Penguins came out on top once again. The Penguins are now 4-0-0-0 against the Devils this season thanks to Teddy Blueger’s fourth overtime game-winning goal of the year.

Saturday, Mar. 10 – PENGUINS 2 vs. Grand Rapids 1
The Penguins held on to beat the defending Calder Cup Champions in the Griffins’ first visit to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza since Mar. 25, 2009. Adam Johnson notched the first shorthanded goal of his career, while Kevin Czuczman scored the game-winner with 8:35 left in regulation.

 

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, Mar. 13 – PENGUINS at Charlotte
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton made the trek to North Carolina and will face Charlotte at Bojangles’ Coliseum for the first time since the 2011 playoffs. Charlotte has been a tough opponent for the Penguins, winning both of the clubs’ earlier meetings.

Wednesday, Mar. 14 – PENGUINS at Charlotte
Game 2 of the Penguins’ set at Bojangles’ Coliseum takes place on Wednesday. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 8-7-1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

Saturday, Mar. 17 – PENGUINS vs. Hartford
The Penguins host their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The Pens are 2-2-0-0 against the Wolf Pack this season with the home team emerging victorious in all four contests.

Sunday, Mar. 18 – PENGUINS vs. Hershey
The Penguins welcome their bitter rival to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza for a Kids Free Sunday matinée. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has a 7-0-1-1 record against Hershey this season.

 

Ice Chips

– Teddy Blueger leads the AHL with four overtime goals.

– Blueger’s four OT goals is also the most in a single season in Penguins history, and has him tied with Carter Rowney and Tom Kostopoulos for the franchise’s all-time lead.

– Jean-Sébastien Dea is on a three-game point streak and has 11 points (2G-9A) in his last 12 games.

– On Friday, Michael Leighton played in his first game since Dec. 22, 2017. He has won both of his starts with the Penguins, and both victories have come in overtime against Binghamton.

– Daniel Sprong currently ranks in a tie for third among all AHL rookies in goals (21), points (44) and shots on goal (146).

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. Lehigh Valley 63 40 16 3 4 87 .690
2. PENGUINS 58 35 17 4 2 76 .655
3. Providence 61 36 20 3 2 77 .631
4. Charlotte 62 35 24 0 3 73 .589
5. Bridgeport 61 30 23 5 3 68 .557
6. Springfield 62 28 29 4 1 61 .492
7. Hartford 62 26 29 5 3 60 .476
8. Hershey 63 25 29 4 5 59 .468

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Daniel Sprong* 48 21 23 44
Jean-Sébastien Dea 55 13 25 38
Teddy Blueger 53 14 18 32
Ryan Haggerty 55 16 15 31
Zach Aston-Reese^* 41 9 20 29
GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Casey DeSmith^ 27 16-8-3 2.73 .910 2
Anthony Peters 18 9-5-3 2.63 .906 1

* = rookie
^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                           TIME    

Tue, Mar. 13   Charlotte         Bojangles’ Coliseum           7:00 p.m.

Wed, Mar. 14 Charlotte         Bojangles’ Coliseum           7:00 p.m.

Sat, Mar. 17     Hartford           Mohegan Sun Arena         7:05 p.m.

Sun, Mar. 18   Hershey           Mohegan Sun Arena         3:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Thu, Mar. 8        (RW) Josh Jooris                             Recalled by PIT

Fri, Mar. 9          (D) Kevin Spinozzi                       Assigned to WHL

Mon, Mar. 12    (D) Dylan Zink                          Reassigned to WHL