MILETIC BRINGS HARD WORK, SCORING TOUCH TO PENS

Sam Miletic scored a lot of goals the season before the Pittsburgh Penguins signed him as an undrafted free agent. Sam Miletic scored even more goals the season after the Pittsburgh Penguins signed him as an undrafted free agent.

His impressive offensive figures and all-around demeanor have Penguins brass extremely excited for what he can bring to the table.

“The biggest thing with Sam is his attention to detail,” said Penguins development coach Jarrod Skalde. “He already looks like a pro. He conducts himself like a pro. You can see how he pays attention on the ice to all the little things.”

In typical hockey fashion, Miletic credits his offense to playing with quality teammates in both London and Niagara, but don’t let his soft-spoken humbleness mislead you into thinking he’s shy on talent. His shot explodes off his stick and packs a mighty punch. He’s also shown a willingness to drive to the front of the net with or without the puck.

As his skills developed and his scoring touch blossomed as an undrafted free agent in the Ontario Hockey League, Miletic became a prospect that Pittsburgh couldn’t ignore any more.

“We were so impressed with him last year, that’s why we signed him to the entry-level deal,” Skalde added. “We’re really excited to have him. He seems like a guy that’s already pro-ready.”

Miletic happily accepts any compliments that Skalde, reporters or fans will give him, but he’s always quick to try and deflect accolades to his teammates. That being said, he has no interest in taking a back seat to anyone at this year’s training camp. He’s determined to make coaches and anyone else notice him, one way or another.

“[Pittsburgh] seems to appreciate guys that work hard,” Miletic. “So I’m going to come into the season with that mindset, just like last year, and control what I can control.”

Season ticket packages for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 20th season, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.  For more info on season ticket packages, fill in the form below, and a Penguins representative will contact you directly.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

KOSTOPOULOS, CHIODO EXPRESS EXCITEMENT FOR NEW ROLES, WBS MEMORIES

 

Tom Kostopoulos and Andy Chiodo both spent the start of their careers basking in the adoration of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fans. Both players quickly earned the favor of the team’s supporters and became fan favorites, but it was the 2004 Calder Cup Playoffs that the two cemented their legacies with the team.

As Kostopoulos and Chiodo were winning over Penguins fans with their play on the ice, that was around the same time that the fans carved out a special place in the players’ hearts, too. Chiodo says he can still hear the earth-shaking cheers of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton faithful ringing in his head.

“Those are the kind of memories that you just can’t forget,” Chiodo said. “It’s hard to describe. The fans were so engaged. They were so loud, and the energy that we got to experience from the crowd pushed us through those playoffs.”

Their careers eventually veered in different directions following that run to the 2004 Calder Cup Final, but Kostopoulos and Chiodo are back together again on the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey operations staff. On Wednesday, the long-time Penguins captain, Kostopoulos, was hired by Pittsburgh as Player Development Coach, and Chiodo was named Goaltending Development Coach.

“I think this development role will be good for me,” Kostopoulos said. “I’m learning a lot about it already, plus I’m really excited that [Chiodo] is coming in at the same time as me. Being able to work with him after playing with him and being good friends with him for a long time, I think it will be good for us.”

In a way, Kostopoulos was an extension of the Penguins’ development staff for years. Wearing the “C” in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while playing on an American Hockey League contract, Kostopoulos and Pittsburgh had a mutual understanding that even though the veteran still wanted to score as many goals and win as many games as he could while his playing career was still active, he was to mentor the younger players and help prepare them for the next step in their careers. By all accounts, Kostopoulos thrived in that role as a leader (and his offensive production rarely waned during that time, too.) Current Pittsburgh stand-outs such as Jake Guentzel, Matt Murray, Conor Sheary in addition to likely future studs like Dominik Simon and Teddy Blueger all have been vocal advocates of Kostopoulos.

Given his success with helping talented players reach the National Hockey League as a locker room leader, it’s easy to understand why everyone in Pittsburgh felt that Kostopoulos would be a perfect fit as a development coach. The man himself agrees with that assessment, too.

“My role kind of evolved to where I was trying to do everything I could to help those younger players while at the same time competing,” Kostopoulos said. “Pittsburgh has drafted really good players, but to say something like I had even a small role in helping them get to the NHL means a lot. Now, I pick up off that, I get to be on the other side of it.”

Chiodo’s playing career didn’t last quite as long as Kostopoulos’ epic 19 seasons, but he had already carved himself out a niche as a broadcaster in Toronto before stepping into a coach’s role last year. After one season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s, Chiodo departed to rejoin the organization that gave him his start in pro hockey. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fan darling plans on using his experience as goaltending coach with the 67’s in his new role with the black and gold.

“Every time I was in Ottawa, I felt like I learned something,” Chiodo said. “I had a great staff in Ottawa. Whether it was during individual meetings, the way they handled their video, the way they prepared for games, the way we all responded after games, I was absorbing it all. I think it was an ongoing process that I really enjoyed and I am grateful for.”

Kostopoulos and Chiodo’s jobs will take them across the continent, following draft picks and other prospects in the professional, collegiate and junior hockey ranks. Part of the appeal of the position is that you’re not quite as fully inundated in as season as one would be as a player. This made it attractive to Kostopoulos, who has made it perfectly clear that he wants to spend time with his family in retirement.

Furthermore, Kostopoulos, Chiodo, and Pittsburgh’s other development coach, Jarrod Skalde, are all based out the greater Toronto area. They won’t have to go far to congregate and discuss Penguins prospects and their progress, and Kostopoulos can still be close to home for his kid’s soccer game or a family movie night.

“Once my kids are finished with school in Dallas, (Pennsylvania,) we’ll be settling back in Ontario,” Kostopoulos said. “I think it’s a hub to travel and see Penguins prospects, but also get my kids back around their grandparents. It’s an exciting position for my whole family, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Of course, the job also requires frequent visits to Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Wheeling. Kostopoulos and Chiodo will mostly be confined to the press box and coaches’ offices, but if you happen to cross paths with one of them in the halls of Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, feel free to say hello. Even though they’re hockey ops now, they still feel the connection made as players with Penguins fans.

“I have such fond memories of the fans, the organization and that time period in my career,” Chiodo said. “The time that I had in Wilkes-Barre is something that I really remember in a fond way, and I’m excited to go back.”

SCOTT YOUNG NAMED PENGUINS DIRECTOR OF PLAYER DEVELOPMENT


The Pittsburgh Penguins have named Scott Young director of player development, Jarrod Skalde player development coach, and Brendan Sullivan goaltending development coach, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Young, 49, enjoyed a distinguished 16-plus year NHL career that included Stanley Cup championships with the Penguins in 1991 and the Colorado Avalanche in ’96. He also had a stellar international career with USA Hockey, all of which earned him enshrinement into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2017.

A native of Clinton, Massachusetts, Young most recently served on the hockey staff at his college alma mater, Boston University, since 2014. His tenure there began as the school’s director of hockey operations, before he moved behind the bench as an assistant coach for the last two seasons.

Young’s lengthy NHL career saw him skate for six franchises – the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh, Quebec/Colorado, Anaheim, St. Louis and Dallas – while amassing regular-season totals of 1,181 games, 342 goals, 415 assists and 757 points. His goal total ranks 10th all-time among American-born players. Young tacked on 87 points (44G-43A) in 141 career NHL playoff contests.

An eight-time 20-goal scorer and seven-time 50-point producer, Young enjoyed his best season with St. Louis in 2000-01, setting careers highs in goals (40) and points (73). In his final NHL season at age 38 in 2005-06, Young led the Blues in scoring with 49 points in his second tour of duty with the club.

The Whalers’ first-round (11th overall) draft pick in 1986, Young played two seasons of college hockey at Boston University, where he was named Hockey East Rookie of the Year as a freshman. During his time with the Terriers, Young was teammates with Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins bench boss Clark Donatelli.

At the international level, Young represented the United States in three Olympic Games (1988, 1992, 2002), three World Championships and three World Junior Championships. Young was also a member of the U.S. team that won the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. The Americans won silver in the ’02 Olympic Games.

As a player, Young skated for a handful of legendary coaches that included Bob Johnson, Herb Brooks, Jack Parker, Joel Quenneville and Marc Crawford.

Skalde, 46, joins the Pittsburgh organization after accumulating a wealth of professional experience as both a player and coach in professional hockey leagues all over the world.

The Niagara Falls, Ontario native enjoyed a 17-plus year professional playing career that included stops with eight NHL clubs over parts of nine seasons.

Skalde was originally a 1989 second-round (26th overall) draft pick of the New Jersey Devils. He broke into the professional ranks in the early ‘90s with the Devils and their American Hockey League affiliate in Utica, where he was teammates with Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin, who was chosen fifth overall by New Jersey in ’86.

Since hanging up his skates, Skalde has embarked on a nine-year coaching career that most recently saw him serve as head coach of the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League over the last two years. Skalde has also been a head coach in the American Hockey League (Norfolk Admirals, 2014-15), ECHL (Cincinnati Cyclones, 2010-13) and the International Hockey League (Bloomington PrairieThunder, 2008-10).

As Cincinnati’s head coach in the ECHL in 2013, Skalde won that circuit’s Coach of the Year award. His coaching career includes a stint as assistant coach of Canada’s entry into the 2016 Under-18 World Junior Championship, and one year as Norfolk’s assistant in 2013-14.

During his playing days, Skalde logged over 1,000 career professional regular-season and playoff games in North America, appearing in 622 AHL contests, 322 games in the now-defunct IHL, and 115 NHL appearances. In addition, he played in professional leagues in Sweden, Switzerland, Asia and Slovenia.

A captain of five different clubs, Skalde was a champion twice as a pro. He won the IHL’s Turner Cup with the Orlando Solar Bears in 2001 and won a championship in Slovenia with HK Jesenice in 2008.

As mentioned, Skalde broke into the NHL with New Jersey, followed by stints with Anaheim, Calgary, San Jose, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia. He notched 34 points (13G-21A) with those clubs. He also laced up the skates with nine different franchises in the AHL and seven in the IHL.

Before joining the Devils organization, Skalde played four seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League, mostly with the Oshawa Generals, plus a late-season stint with the Belleville Bulls. Skalde and the Generals won both the OHL and Memorial Cup championships in 1990, when one of his teammates included Eric Lindros.

Sullivan, 29, has worked closely with newly-appointed Penguins goaltending coach Mike Buckley for the last eight years as a staff member at Buckley’s GDS Elite training school. Sullivan has also spent the last two years as a scout for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League.

Sullivan, who hails from Fall River, Massachusetts, played four years of college hockey at Lake Forest College, an NCAA Division III school, between 2009-13. He was a four-year starter between the pipes at Lake Forest, earning First-Team All-Conference honors and setting many school records.

Prior to jumping into the college ranks, Sullivan played one year with the Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2008-09, and he played high school hockey at Catholic Memorial High School, where he was one of the top players in the Boston region. While at Catholic Memorial High School, where he was named his team’s MVP after backstopping his club to a pair of championships, Sullivan began working as a student under Buckley’s tutelage.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information