PITTSBURGH RECALLS CHRIS SUMMERS FROM WBS

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled defenseman Chris Summers from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Summers, 29, who has played seven-plus seasons of pro hockey, signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Pens over summer after notching 12 points (4G-8A) in 74 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL in 2016-17.

The 6-foot-2, 207-pound Ann Arbor, Michigan native served as an alternate captain for the Wolf Pack last year, and was chosen to wear the ‘A’ in his first season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this year. Summers made his WBS debut in Saturday’s season-opener, finishing even with two shots on goal.

Summers has competed in 70 NHL contests in his career with the Arizona Coyotes and New York Rangers, tallying nine points (2G-7A). In his 387 career AHL games, he has accrued 336 penalty minutes with 59 points (13G-46A).

Summers played four years of collegiate hockey at Michigan, where he was team captain as a senior, and an alternate captain his junior year. During his collegiate career, Summers suited up for Team USA at the 2008 World Junior Championship, where he was an alternate captain and was chosen as one of the team’s “Top Three Players” of the tournament.

Summers was originally chosen by the Arizona Coyotes in the first round (29th overall) in the 2006 NHL Draft.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will play three games in three days this weekend, with contests against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Friday at 7:05pm in Wilkes-Barre/Saturday at 7:05pm in Allentown) and the Syracuse Crunch (Sunday at 3:05pm in Wilkes-Barre) on the schedule.

Sunday’s contest is the Penguins’ first KIDS FREE SUNDAY of the season, with fans ages 14 and younger able to get in for FREE with a paid adult admission.

Tickets for all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com or by calling 570-208-7367.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

AHL ADDS COLORADO EAGLES FOR 2018-19


American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews announced today that the Colorado Eagles have been approved as an expansion franchise for the 2018-19 season.

The Eagles will be the new primary development affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche when they begin play in the AHL’s Pacific Division at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colo., in October 2018.

The Eagles’ application for membership was approved by the AHL Board of Governors during the league’s Annual Meeting in July, and brings the AHL up to 31 teams for the first time.

Originally founded in 2003, the Colorado Eagles franchise has won three league championships, as members of the Central Hockey League (2005, 2007) and the ECHL (2017).

The AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, who are currently the Avalanche’s top affiliate, have entered into an affiliation with the NHL’s St. Louis Blues that will also take effect in 2018-19.

In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for all 31 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

CHARLOTTE vs. WBS – OCTOBER 7, 2017

TONIGHT’S GAME

The Penguins and Charlotte Checkers face-off for the first of four season meetings, but tonight is their first game against one another since 2011. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had a commanding 7-1-0-0 record in the two clubs’ 2010-11 regular season series, but Charlotte got the better of them in six games during the second round of the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs.

The Penguins’ hope to capitalize with a new-look power play unit that will feature offensively inclined rookies like Zach Aston-Reese, Adam Johnson and Daniel Sprong as well as the team’s leading scorer from last season, veteran Tom Kostopoulos. However, they may not have many opportunities to make an impact, as the Checkers were the second-least penalized team in the AHL the previous year (10.88 PIM per game).

Charlotte’s power play came up clutch late last night, scoring a tying goal in the third period. Tonight, the Checkers’ man advantage must contend with the Penguins’ penalty kill, which was best in the AHL last season with a 86.9 percent success rate.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is well-rested, prepared for its first game of the season, whereas Charlotte in playing in the second game of a back-to-back this weekend. Last season, the Checkers were 16-12-1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs last season.

RECENT ACTION

The Charlotte Checkers kicked off the 2017-18 season and their Atlantic Division residence with a dramatic 5-4 victory spearheaded by rookie Warren Foegele while visiting the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Charlotte started off behind the eight ball when Hartford’s Cole Schneider struck 54 seconds into the game. Foegele, last year’s OHL Playoffs MVP, evened things up in the first period with his first pro goal.

The Wolf Pack popped back on top, 2-1, with a tally courtesy of Ryan Gropp at 2:25 of the middle frame. Hartford’s Joe Whitney and Charlotte’s Lucas Wallmark traded goals less than two minutes apart, and the game headed to the second intermission at a 3-2 score in the home squad’s favor.

Adam Tambellini extended his team’s lead to two goals at 2:42 of the third before Aleksi Saarela chopped it right back down t o one midway through the period.

The Checkers’ power play unit found a 4-4 equalizer from Valentin Zykov 13:06 into the final period of play. Foegele shocked the opening night crowd at XL Center with his second goal of the night, the game-winner, with one minute left in regulation.

ICE CHIPS…

– Tom Kostopoulos begins his 19th season of professional hockey tonight, a career that started in 1999 during the inaugural season of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

– Penguins forward Teddy Blueger not only had the best plus/minus of all AHL rookies last year (+23), but also set Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s franchise record for rookie plus/minus rating.

– In his final year of junior hockey, Daniel Sprong failed to record a point in only nine of his 43 games played, including playoffs.

– Last season’s Penguins were the fifth team to reach the 50-win plateau since the AHL adopted a 76-game schedule in 2011-12.

CHECK MATES…

– Charlotte posted a record of 15-3-3-0 (.785) when Lucas Wallmark scored a goal last season. – The Checkers allowed the fewest shorthanded goals in the AHL last season (3).

– Andrew Poturalski ranked third in rookie scoring last season with 52 points (19G-33A).

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

STANLEY CUP RETURNING TO NEPA IN OCTOBER

Josh Archibald was among the one-time Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to lift the Stanley Cup last season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season ticket members will have a chance to view the most storied trophy in professional sports when the Stanley Cup returns to northeast Pennsylvania on Wednesday, October 25.

The Cup, as well as the Prince of Wales Trophy, the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, will be on display at the F.M. Kirby Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre from 4:30-6:30pm.  Season ticket members will have an exclusive opportunity to have their photos taken with the famed trophy.

Due to time constraints, the Cup visit will be available only to Penguins season ticket members.

Existing season ticket members will receive tickets to the event in the mail.

Eleven former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins skated in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were coached to their second consecutive NHL championship by former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Mike Sullivan.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins begin their 2017-18 regular season on Saturday, October 7, when they host the Charlotte Checkers at 7:05pm.  Individual tickets for the Penguins home opener, and all home games, are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Penguins season ticket packages, including full and partial plans, are available by calling the team directly at 570-208-7367.

Would you like more info on ticket packages?  Take a look at our full season, 22-game and 12-game packages, or submit the form below and a Penguins account executive will contact you shortly.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

PITTSBURGH ASSIGNS 21 TO WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON


The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-assigned 21 players to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Forwards Zach Aston-Reese, Teddy Blueger, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Thomas Di Pauli, Adam Johnson, Sam Miletic, Dominik Simon, Colin Smith, Daniel Sprong, Christian Thomas, Freddie Tiffels and Garrett Wilson; defensemen Lukas Bengtsson, Frank Corrado, Kevin Czuczman, Ethan Prow, Chris Summers, Jarred Tinordi and Zach Trotman; and goalies Casey DeSmith and Tristan Jarry have all been returned to WBS.

Dea, Wilson, Summers, Czuczman, Tinoradi, Corrado and Trotman all have to clear waivers on Wednesday at noon before they can join WBS.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins open up their exhibition schedule this Wednesday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena against the Hershey Bears.  Tickets are available at the arena box office, by phone at 570-208-7367 or online at TicketMaster.com.

Season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

BURTON LOOKING TO LOCK UP SPOT WITH WBS

Jarrett Burton was all smiles as reporters approached him at his locker following the first day of training camp.  Not only was he excited to get back on the ice in preparation for the 2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season, but he was happy to get a little relief from the soaring templates outside.

“Everyone’s happy to be back in the rink, especially during this heat wave right now we have going on,” he laughed, noting the 90 degree temperatures hitting northeast Pennsylvania.

Now entering his fourth training camp with the Penguins, Burton is looking to grab a regular spot in the team’s lineup.  He spent the majority of the 2016-17 campaign with Wilkes-Barre, notching 11 points (7+4) in 39 regular season games.

But Burton is hardly taking his opportunity to earn a roster spot out of camp for granted.

“You want to make sure that you’re always working as hard as you can,” he stated.  “Everyone’s on a clean slate.  It’s a brand new season, and everyone’s looking to make a great impression.”

One person who Burton has left a mark on already is Clark Donatelli.  The Penguins head coach was behind the bench in Wheeling when Burton first turned pro back in 2014, and has seen the 26-year old forward continue to develop.

“Burts is really good on face-offs, he kills a lot of our penalties,” Donatelli said.  “Great two-way player, and has a lot of responsibilities defensively.

“He’s going to develop and continue to get better.”

Burton is on a career path similar to one that his former teammate – Carter Rowney – travled.  Rowney  started out playing in Wheeling, moved up to full time duty with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, then made the leap to Pittsburgh last year.

“I got to see what Carter does and how hard he works every single day, which is something that a lot of guys are fortunate that they’ve been able to see,” he said.  “He’s always been a great two-way player, but he just keeps on getting better each year.  That’s something that you can learn from a guy like that.”

Donatelli doesn’t see any reason why Burton couldn’t be the next former Nailer to suit up in the NHL.

“He’s proved that he can play here in the American Hockey League, and now he’s going to try to make that next step.”


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins open up their exhibition schedule this Wednesday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena against the Hershey Bears.  Tickets are available at the arena box office, by phone at 570-208-7367 or online at TicketMaster.com.

Season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

PITTSBURGH SIGNS SAM MILETIC TO ENTRY LEVEL CONTRACT

Sam Miletic led the London Knights (OHL) with 37 goals last season.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed undrafted free agent forward Sam Miletic to a three-year, entry-level contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Miletic, 20, has played in two NHL preseason games with the Penguins this year, scoring the opening goal in Pittsburgh’s win in Columbus on September 22. He also played in all three Prospect Challenge contests in Buffalo in early September, tallying two points (1G-1A) in the opening game against Boston. Miletic also skated in Pittsburgh’s prospect development camp in July.

Last year, the 6-foot, 196-pound Miletic led the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League with 37 goals in 65 games, a total that ranked 12th in the OHL. He had 55 points (37G-18A) overall on the season, which ranked him fifth on the club.

A native of Bloomfield Township, Michigan, Miletic has spent the past two seasons with the Knights, skating in 100 regular-season games, compiling 40 goals, 29 assists and 69 points. Before joining London, Miletic played the 2014-15 season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League, scoring 12 goals and 27 points in 58 games.

Miletic is the third undrafted free agent signed by the Penguins in training camp, joining goaltender Alex D’Orio and forward Jordy Bellerive, both of whom also participated in development camp, the Prospects Challenge and NHL training camp before returning to their junior clubs.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins open up their exhibition schedule this Wednesday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena against the Hershey Bears.  Tickets are available at the arena box office, by phone at 570-208-7367 or online at TicketMaster.com.

Season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

WBS TRAINING CAMP NOTEBOOK: SEPTEMBER 24, 2017


The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hit the Toyota Sportsplex ice for the start of training camp on Sunday morning, and stayed until the afternoon.

Coach Clark Donatelli and his staff ran the 28 players on the team’s initial roster through a more than two hour practice, that finally came to a conclusion just after 12:30pm.

For Donatelli, it was a chance to get an extended look at several fresh faces.

“A lot of the guys are new.  The guys are coming out here, trying to make an impression,” he said.  “Every practice we rank all of the players and then we go over it as a staff…I thought some guys here made some good first impressions.”

About half of the players in camp are free agents or inked to ECHL contracts.  And, with a considerable number of players still in camp with the Pittsburgh Penguins, these early practices, as well as this week’s exhibition games, present opportunities for unknown youngsters to leave their marks.

“We’ve got two games here (Wednesday versus Hershey; Friday versus Binghamton) that we’re going to play, and we’re going to a lot of looks at some of the guys we don’t know,” Donatelli said.  “Then we’re going to settle in and see what happens with Pitt with guys coming down for games three and four (Saturday at Hershey; Sunday at Binghamton).”

While it’s likely many of the players currently in Wilkes-Barre won’t be here to start the season, performances in these preseason contests could help in decision on call ups later in the year.

“If some of the guys have to go down to Wheeling, obviously then we’re going to have a good read on what they are,” Donatelli stated.

SHORT SUMMER

While Sunday morning saw hockey return to NEPA for the first time since late April, Donatelli hasn’t been away from the sport very much over the past few months.

After Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s season came to an unexpected early end, Donatelli and assistants J.D. Forrest and Chris Taylor (now with the Rochester Americans), worked with Pittsburgh’s practice squad as they advanced to their second straight Stanley Cup championship through late June.

Donatelli and Forrest then stepped behind the bench to lead the American entry at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in early August; traveled to Buffalo for the 2017 Prospects Challenge a month later; and spent a week with the NHL club as the Pens opened training camp.

“We had a short break, but it was great,” he said.  “Anytime you’re winning Stanley Cups, you’re playing a long time.  So that experience was great and our guys loved it.

“Short summer, but I’m excited to be back.”

SCHEDULE

The Pens will practice at the Toyota Sportsplex again on Monday and Tuesday mornings at 10:30am, before the action moves to the Mohegan Sun Arena for Wednesday’s opening exhibition contest.  All practices at the Toyota Sportsplex are free and open to the public.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

PITTSBURGH ASSIGNS SEVEN TO WILKES-BARRE

The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-assigned eight players, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Forwards Tom Kostopoulos, Ryan Haggerty, Reid Gardiner, Gage Quinney; defensemen Dylan Zink and Jeff Taylor; and goaltender Sean Maguire have all been re-assigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League.

Forward Jordy Bellerive, an 18-year-old undrafted free agent who signed his entry-level contract with Pittsburgh during training camp, has been returned to his junior club, the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League.

The Penguins have 47 players remaining in camp (28 forwards; 15 defensemen; 4 goalies). Attached is an updated roster.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

DECISION TO STAY IN PITTSBURGH A NO-BRAINER FOR RUHWEDEL


by Mike O’Brien

It can be a daunting choice, one to which most everyone can relate.  At some point in life, it comes time to mull over a job offer.  Many hours and some sleepless nights are spent weighing the pros and cons, determining if the next opportunity is the right one.

Hockey players go through a super-charged version of this process come the start of free agency each summer.  Life decisions are crammed into a few hours as players must quickly choose which contract, which organization, which city is the best fit.

Even if defenseman Chad Ruhwedel had a crystal ball at his disposal last summer when he signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he might have had difficulty foreseeing the path the lay ahead.

Ruhwedel had been at this crossroads before.

The San Diego native had an outstanding junior campaign at the UMass-Lowell, helping the Riverhawks to the Frozen Four while being named an All-American.

At the same time, the undrafted defenseman was being pursued aggressively by the Buffalo Sabres, who signed Ruhwedel at the conclusion of the 2012-13 college season.  He hopped right into the Sabres line-up, making his NHL debut on Apr. 13, 2013 in a 1-0 win over Philadelphia as part of a seven-game stint with Buffalo.

The following season, Ruhwedel’s first full campaign as a pro, would provide the blueliner with a highwater mark for games played in the NHL.  He appeared in 21 contests for a rebuilding Buffalo squad, while also splitting time in the American Hockey League with the Rochester Americans.

A restricted free agent in the summer of 2014, Ruhwedel re-signed with the Sabres, but saw his time in NHL diminish to just five games in Buffalo over the next two seasons.

Fast forward to July 1, 2016.  Ruhwedel was at another proverbial fork in the road. Though there were many conversations with his family and agent leading up to the start of free agency, the final decision ended up being a pretty easy one.

“That was pretty hectic the week before free agency.  We narrowed it down to a few contenders,” Ruhwedel stated.  “When Pittsburgh’s name came up, to be honest, it was a no-brainer.”

The 27-year-old joined a Penguins organization that boasted a very deep bench on defense.  He began the season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and immediately slotted into the top pairing for the AHL club.

When injuries befell the blueline corps in Pittsburgh near Christmas time, Ruhwedel was recalled to NHL.  He hit the ice for his first game with Pittsburgh on Dec. 20, and scored his first NHL goal a game later versus the New Jersey Devils.  His steady play endeared Ruhwedel to the coaching staff in a short amount of time.

“The reason Chad stuck is because he earned his spot,” said Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Mike Sullivan. “He earned it through his performance and his work habits each and every day.”

Ruhwedel set career highs with 34 NHL games played, two goals, eight assists and 10 points.  Those stats and time spent in Pittsburgh probably would have been enough to justify his choice to join the Penguins, but it only got better from there.

With the defense corps at full health to begin the postseason, Ruhwedel initially found himself a spectator through the opening round series versus Columbus and much the second round against Washington.

But, when Trevor Daley suffered an injury in Game Five against the Capitals, it was Ruhwedel who got that call from Sullivan.

The Penguins closed out the Caps in seven games, and Ruhwedel was also in the line-up through the first four contests of the Eastern Conference Final versus Ottawa – including 21:25 in Game Three.

As Daley returned from his lower-body injury, Ruhwedel was again relegated to the press box, but was on the ice in Nashville to hoist the Stanley Cup with the rest of his teammates.

Suffice to say, Ruhwedel felt good about electing to sign with Pittsburgh.  It is hard to imagine the season unfolding more perfectly as he described the year as one that “exceeded all expectations.”

Still, after the most successful season of his career, Ruhwedel headed into the off-season once again as a free agent and with a choice to make.  Ruhwedel re-signed with the Penguins on July 22, signing a two-year, one-way deal.  From the sound of it, he spent way less time on the decision this time around.

“It was really easy to decide to re-sign.  They wanted me back and I really wanted to be back,” Ruhwedel stated. “It’s just a good mutual relationship and I think it’s a good fit for both of us.”

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information