Newcomer Noesen Not Your Average Penguins Call-up
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Newcomer Noesen Not Your Average Penguins Call-up



pittsburgh penguins stefan

Forward Stefan Noesen isn’t like a lot of the players the Pittsburgh Penguins have promoted from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton over the past several seasons. He’s not going to burst onto the scene like Conor Sheary, Jake Guentzel or Sam Lafferty.

Neither is Noesen going to step onto the ice Wednesday night for a national broadcast game against the St. Louis Blues with wide eyes and an iron grip on his stick.

Noesen, summoned as the Penguins’ ridiculous string of injuries continues, is more of a known commodity. The 26-year-old was a first-round pick by Ottawa in 2011. He has played in 159 NHL games with Anaheim and New Jersey, with 24 goals, 45 points.

There is a confidence in Noesen that seems a little different from some of the players who have been called up from the American Hockey League with little to no NHL experience. In fact, Noesen considered himself something of a mentor while in Wilkes-Barre.

“Honestly, one of the big things down there was just trying to get some of these young guys to understand the pro game,” he said, adding that he found Wilkes-Barre to have a supportive atmosphere where the players keep close watch on the parent club and those who get called up. He said there was a watch party there when Lafferty first got called up and made his NHL debut.

Another big thing for Noesen, of course, was to prove himself all over again, and to show that he was healthy. A couple of major knee injuries have stunted his progress, including one last season that limited him to 41 games and perhaps swayed the Devils not to extend a qualifying offer to him, making him a free agent.

He was on an AHL contract as he racked up 14 goals, 22 points to lead Wilkes-Barre in both categories. He spent a lot of time on a line with Andrew Agozzino and Sam Miletic.

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The Penguins scrambled to get him signed to an NHL deal on Monday, and he was in practice Tuesday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

Noesen jumped right in, manning the right wing on the second line with Alex Galchenyuk and Jared McCann and working the net-front with the top power play unit.

“It’s hard to assess after one practice, but, obviously the reports have been very positive. He’s been really good in Wilkes-Barre,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “This is something that our management team has been talking about for a little while now. He’s one of the leading scorers in the league down there. He has NHL experience. We think he’s a guy that can help us.”

Noesen believes that, too. He just had to convince the hockey world.

When offers were sparse over the summer, he accepted a tryout to attend training camp with the Dallas Stars. Noesen is from Plano, Texas. But he didn’t get signed by the Stars and accepted the minor-league deal with the Penguins – an opportunity helped along by his former junior coach Mike Vellucci, now the first-year coach and general manager in Wilkes-Barre.

“The whole goal was to get back in the NHL,” Noesen said. “We thought we had a chance to do it in the summer. Obviously, that wasn’t the case. Never really been in a situation like this.”

But playing in the AHL wasn’t drudgery.

“It’s fun. You can actually have fun playing hockey,” he said. “You get to play your game and find some confidence. So now here we are.”


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Shelly is the newest columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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  1. jessevereb

    December 4, 2019 at 10:22 am

    hey shelly! there is a typo, he’s 26!

  2. Edgar

    December 4, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Jim Rutherford has destroyed this roster. How many teams have less top offensive forward talent than the Penguins do? Not many. And that’s with both Crosby and Malkin making probably $2M less yearly apiece against the cap. Just disgraceful.

    • Brian

      December 4, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      Are you high?

    • iceguru66

      December 7, 2019 at 6:39 pm

      Kessel deal netted 2 Cups – 1 more than the rest of Crosby’s career. He hired Sullivan – the best coach Pens have had in at least 20 years. Petterson deal was a win. There are just so many wins for Jim R. that I won’t list them all. McCann would be another one. He obtained Schultz for a 3rd round pick. He acquired Marino for a 6th.
      He’s in the Hall of Fame. Are you?

  3. BIG B

    December 5, 2019 at 11:18 am

    High and drunk at the same time and must be missing Phil Kessel and his 4 goals.This team is 4th in the league in goals and 5th in goals per game despite the injuries.Crosby Malkin,Jake,Gally,Jared. Rusty etc are all high end.This teams is deep and good and fast so the GMJR argument is bunk and obviously an agenda and smells of a Philbilly to me.

  4. Edgar

    December 5, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Guys. The money spent on guys like Tanev, Galchenyuk, Bjugs, and JJ are keeping us from being able to obtain a top of the line talent. Talent that will help us win the cup. I’m unconcerned with regular season wins and record. We lack the top talent to win the cup. Maybe Chucky gets it together. I’ll be glad to say I was wrong.

  5. BIG B

    December 5, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Edgar all of these guys have value but Gally and Bjugs are easily trade-able in any deal for a top tier talent.If they pick up a Hall or somebody big making money salary will go the other way and when all the injured guys are back they have good cap room of around 3 million which means they can pick up around 12 million in salary at the deadline.Chucky is a goner when everybody is back.

    • Edgar

      December 6, 2019 at 6:06 pm

      That’s what I’m sayin! If we weren’t light on top end talent we wouldn’t need to think about adding Hall. But we are, and we do.

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