The Pittsburgh Penguins made their first training camp cuts Friday. To no great surprise, the players they sent to the AHL camp were players who have no NHL experience and are not yet considered NHL ready prospects. The team sent nine players to the WBS Penguins camp with head coach/GM Mike Vellucci but also sent one of their top prospects back to juniors.
Calen Addison, who was the Penguins 2018 second-round pick was returned to his junior team, the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL. Addison was considerably better in training camp than he was last season, but the 19-year-old defenseman will need to add more strength and continue to round his defensive zone work.
Pittsburgh Penguins Cuts
F – Chase Berger
F – Jordy Bellerive
F – Jan Drozg
F – Ben Sexton
D – Matt Abt
D – Michael Kim
D – Jon Lizotte
G – Alex D’Orio
G – Dustin Tokarski
Pittsburgh Hockey Now spoke with Vellucci Wednesday about a couple of names on the list, including Bellerive and D’Orio. Vellucci explained why he was forced to have a chat with Bellerive but had unsolicited praise for goalie Alex D’Orio who stole a win for the Penguins in the Prospect Challenge. You can read our exclusive conversation with Vellucci here.
Lizotte and Chase Berger earned a camp invites after a strong Prospect Challenge tournament. Michael Kim also played all three games for the Penguins prospect squad.
The Penguins have back to back weekend games in Columbus then Detroit. The team brought 56 players to camp are down to 46, including 28 forwards, 14 defensemen and four goaltenders. Emil Larmi, who was signed as an undrafted free agent from Finland this summer is the lone remaining goalie without an NHL contract. Matt Murray, Casey DeSmith and Tristan Jarry are the other goalies.
Assume Larmi will back up or see some playing time this weekend.