The Pittsburgh Penguins have made their training camp roster even smaller, reducing the size to 29 players. Today, Penguins general manager Ron Hextall announced that Sam Poulin, Nathan Legare, Filip Hallander, Kasper Bjornqvist, and Pierre-Olivier Joseph were assigned to the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.
After being recalled yesterday for a preseason matchup against the Detroit Red Wings, Taylor Fedun, Valtteri Puustinen, Niclas Almari, and Jonathan Gruden have all been re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre as well.
With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin injured, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan deployed Brian Boyle, Radim Zohorna, Sam Lafferty, Anthony Angello, and Drew O’Connor at center in training camp and preseason. All five of these players remain on the NHL roster for now.
O’Connor has impressed in preseason play with three goals, and Zohorna with one. Boyle remains signed to a professional tryout which he signed in September. All signs point towards him earning a contract with the Penguins.
The Penguins third pairing is still unsettled. Marcus Pettersson is the left-side defender, but the right side is still up for grabs. With P.O. Joseph out of the running, Jusso Riikola, Mark Friedman, and Chad Ruhwedel remain in the fight. Ruhwedel has taken the majority of ice with NHL regulars in the Penguin preseason games.
Saturday in Columbus could be the final test for the combatants.
The Penguins have one preseason game remaining: Saturday in Columbus at 7:00 pm. The NHL roster is slowly but surely coming together for the Penguins. The team opens up regular-season play on October 12th against the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Lightning will raise their second-consecutive Stanley Cup banner before the game against the Penguins before a national TV audience.