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Penguins Bring 34 Players to Camp, Schedule & Roster Analysis

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Pittsburgh Penguins Practice

The Pittsburgh Penguins invited 34 players to their Phase 3 training camp which begins on Monday, The Penguins also scheduled eight practices and two intra-squad scrimmages in anticipation of Phase 4 games which begin on Aug. 1. The Penguins can only take 31 players to Toronto, so three players won’t make the cut.

The 24-team NHL Stanley Cup tournament was officially approved on Friday evening when nearly 80% of the NHLPA general membership approved the final plans. Thus far, only five players have opted out.

The Penguins invited two Wilkes-Barre Scranton defenseman to camp, as well as three forwards who didn’t play an NHL game this season and two goalies who have not yet made their NHL debut.

The expanded 31-player rosters will include the traditional “Black Aces” who are the practice squad but will be limited because of the limited NHL bubble city space. The Penguins will arrive in Toronto on July 26.

Defensemen (10). 

#2 — Chad Ruhwedel (R)

#3 — Jack Johnson (L)

#4 — Justin Schultz (R)

#6 — John Marino (R)

#7 — Kevin Czuczman (L)

#8 — Brian Dumoulin (L)

#28 — Marcus Pettersson (L)

#50 — Juuso Riikola (L)

#58 — Kris Letang (R)

#73 — Pierre-Olivier Joseph (L)

Forwards:

#9 — Evan Rodrigues (F)

#12 — Patrick Marleau (LW)

#13 — Brandon Tanev (RW)

#16 — Jason Zucker (LW)

#17 — Bryan Rust (RW, LW)

#19 — Jared McCann (C)

#22 — Sam Poulin (LW)

#37 — Sam Lafferty (F)

#42 — Sam Miletic (LW)

#43 — Conor Sheary (RW)

#44 — Philip Varone (LW)

#46 — Zach Aston-Reese (RW, LW)

#47 — Adam Johnson (LW)

#53 — Teddy Blueger (C)

#57 — Anthony Angello (RW)

#59 — Jake Guentzel (LW)

#71 — Evgeni Malkin (C)

#72 — Patric Hornqvist (RW)

#87– Sidney Crosby (C)

Goalies

#30 — Matt Murray

#35 — Tristan Jarry

#1 — Casey DeSmith

#33 — Alex D’Orio

#60 — Emil Larmi

Pittsburgh Penguins Roster Analysis

Dominik Simon, Nick Bjugstad and Zach Trotman will not participate due to injury/health concerns.

D’Orio is a likely cut from the goalies unless one of the other netminders is injured, which means two more players will not go with the team to Toronto unless injuries occur. The battle on the blue line is between Joseph, who just finished his first professional season and Czuczman who has limited NHL experience from a 13-game stint with the New York Islanders in 2013-14.

Czuczman clearly has an experience edge, but Joseph is the better defenseman. The WBS Penguins used Joseph over 27 minutes per game this season. We like Joseph’s chance to stick not only for his superior skating and potential but for the future benefit the Penguins could also recoup by accelerating Joseph’s maturity.

Sam Miletic is the likely cut from the forward group. Miletic showed growth again at WBS, but his ceiling isn’t equal to Poulin’s potential. Varone has some NHL experience and is the safe choice among the three. Adam Johnson could be the odd player out if he doesn’t have a good camp. Johnson fell out of favor after some NHL games early in the season.

Poulin’s potential is tantalizing. The Penguins 2019 first-round pick had a breakout year in the QMJHL and has top-six potential.

CAMP SCHEDULE:

The Pittsburgh Penguins will have eight practices in 13 days, two off days, and three intra-squad scrimmages. The camp is closed to the public.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now owner, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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