Thomas DiPauli, Jeff Taylor and Zach Aston-Reese are among the 2016-17 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins who will be participating in the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect development camp, which runs from Wednesday, June 28 until Saturday, July 1 at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, Pa.
This year’s roster (click here to see full roster) features 24 forwards, 12 defenseman and four goaltenders, and will include all six players selected in Saturday’s NHL Draft in Chicago, led by defenseman Zachary Lauzon, Pittsburgh’s top choice (2nd round; 51st overall).
Fans can attend all of the on-ice practices, including the 3-on-3 camp-concluding scrimmage on Saturday, July 1 at 3:00 PM. A complete camp schedule is listed below.
The first practice sessions will be on Wednesday, July 28. Team A will practice from 2:15-3:00 PM, followed by Team B from 3:15-4:00 PM.
Of the 40 players invited to camp, 21 were originally drafted by Pittsburgh, and two others, forwards Zach Aston-Reese and Thomas Di Pauli, were signed by the Penguins as college free agents. Ten of the 12 defensemen on the camp roster are Pittsburgh draft picks, with eight of them chosen within the past two drafts.
Lauzon, the reigning Kevin Lowe Trophy winner as the best defensive defenseman in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will be joined at camp by defenseman Clayton Phillips (3rd round; 93rd overall), fifth-round forwards Jan Drozg (152nd overall) and Linus Olund (155th overall), and defensemen Antti Palojarvi (6th round; 186th overall) and William Reilly (7th round; 217th overall).
Last week, it was announced that three of Pittsburgh’s top prospects, forwards Daniel Sprong and Aston-Reese, and goalie Filip Gustavsson, would be attending. Among the players joining that trio are Di Pauli, defenseman Jeff Taylor and forward Freddie Tiffels, all of whom are already signed to pro deals.
Di Pauli, 23, signed with the Penguins last August after being originally chosen by the Washington Capitals in the fourth round (100th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft. Injuries limited Di Pauli to 21 games in his first professional season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. A four-year member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Di Pauli represented Team USA at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
Taylor, 23, joined WBS late in the season following a stellar senior season at Union College, where he helped his team advance to the NCAA Tournament by setting career highs in goals (9) and points (33), while adding 24 assists and posting a plus-15, in 38 games. Taylor was an alternate captain for Union, and his performance earned him a berth on the All-ECAC Second Team. Taylor was drafted by Pittsburgh in the seventh round (203rd overall) in 2014.
The speedy Tiffels, 22, signed his entry-level contract with Pittsburgh last week after enjoying a successful junior season at Western Michigan this past year, scoring nine goals and setting personal highs with 12 assists and 21 points in 37 games played. He was named to the NCHC All-Academic Team each of his last two years in school. Tiffels was a 2015 sixth-round (167th overall) draft pick. He scored twice skating for Germany at the 2017 World Championship.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Clark Donatelli will run this year’s camp, alongside WBS assistant coaches Chris Taylor and J.D. Forrest; Wheeling Nailers head coach Jeff Christian and his assistant, Riley Armstrong; and Pittsburgh Penguins goalie coach Mike Buckley and Penguins skills development professional Ty Hennes. Other Pittsburgh Penguins, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Wheeling Nailers hockey operations personnel will assist with off-ice activities throughout the week.
Below is the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2017 Development Camp Practice Schedule:
Wednesday, June 28
2:15-3:00 PM – Team A Practice
3:15-4:00 PM – Team B Practice
Thursday, June 29
9:45 AM – Skills Session (Team A)
10:45 AM – Skills Session (Team B)
10:45 AM – Goalies Session (Rink 2)
Friday, June 30
9:45 AM – Practice (Team B)
10:45 AM – Practice (Team A)
Saturday, July 1
3:00 PM – 3-on-3 Scrimmage