Drew O’Connor was the surprise rookie in the Pittsburgh Penguins training camp as he got a look with the main squad and stuck around through the entirety of the abbreviated nine-day camp. Tuesday morning, the Penguins took the first step to delivering O’Connor to the NHL.
The Penguins recalled O’Connor, 22, to the NHL roster from the taxi squad, according to GM Jim Rutherford. The forward and Sam Lafferty worked with the Penguins NHL squad at practice on Monday.
O’Connor will likely make his NHL debut Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins at the TD Arena.
The Penguins signed the 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward on Mar. 10, 2020, as an undrafted college free agent from Dartmouth. O’Connor played two seasons at Dartmouth, recording 38 goals, 21 assists, and 59 points in 65 career games.
The forward has been a late bloomer. He was only 5-foot-8 when he left high school. PHN did a full breakdown and analysis here.
O’Connor impressed coaches and the organization with his ability to play with the main group and leapfrogged other Penguins prospects.
From the Pittsburgh Penguins Press Release:
During the 2019-20 season, O’Connor was named the NCAA Ivy-League Player of the Year and was selected to the All-Ivy League First Team after recording a team-leading 21 goals and 33 points in 31 games. His 21 goals ranked fifth in the entire NCAA. During his freshman season in 2018-19, the forward was named to the All-Ivy League Second Team after leading Dartmouth with 17 goals in 34 games.
Prior to the 2020-21 NHL season, the Wayne, NJ native played overseas in Norway for Manglerud. In seven games, the forward recorded six goals, four assists, and 10 points.