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Camp Notes: Broz Bigger, Better; Connections Galore

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Tristan Broz, Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins forward prospect Tristan Broz brought a little extra with him to development camp at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. Or maybe quite a bit extra.

He added a sizeable accomplishment to his resume as he capped his college career by helping Denver University win the NCAA championship, and he got physically bigger.

“I think I’ve come pretty far, just looking back on being an 18-year-old being drafted here,” Broz, now 21, said. “I think I’m pretty mature. I’ve matured a lot. I’ve grown a lot. I’ve put on 30 pounds, just kind of grown into my body. So I’ve come a really long way.”

Broz, who could play center or left wing for the Penguins, had career bests with 16 goals, 24 assists, 40 points for DU.

He had a whirlwind month beginning in late March. He scored in double overtime against Massachusetts in the NCAA regional semifinals and in overtime in the national semifinals against Boston University. Then he turned pro, signing a three-year, entry-level contract with the Penguins and joining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for its abbreviated playoff appearance.

“It’s been pretty crazy,” Broz said. “Winning, turning pro. Just trying to take it in.”

Things happened so fast that he barely got to celebrate the NCAA title.

“I had a couple of days,” he said. “It was a pretty quick turnaround, but I can’t really complain. I’ve been dreaming of being a pro hockey player since I was a little kid.”

Now he is a pro player, and one whose extra muscle has enhanced his game.

“It’s been a grind the last couple of years,” he said of adding pounds through an increased diet and work in the weight room. “Now that I’m starting to realize that I have put on that weight, I think I’m gaining more confidence in the corners and battles and protecting the puck.”

PHN’s Dan Kingerski contributed.

Connections, Connections

Being a Penguins prospect or draft pick isn’t the only thing that connects several of the players attending development camp.

*Defenseman Lucas St. Louis and forward Ryan St. Louis are brothers and the sons of former star forward Martin St. Louis, now coach of the Montreal Canadiens. Lucas and defenseman Joona Vaisanen, a Penguins fourth-round draft pick in 2024, were teammates with Dubuque of the United States Hockey League.

*Forward Jack Beck, forward Christopher Brown, forward Justin Cloutier, defenseman Caeden Carlisle and goaltender Charlie Schenkel all played together with the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League.

*Forward Mathieu de St. Phalle and defenseman Daniel Laatsch played together at the University of Wisconsin. So did Cruz Lucuis, who is missing camp because of an illness.

*Forward Charlie Cerrato played for the nearby Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League and is committed to Penn State for the upcoming season. He will be teammates with the Nittany Lions with forward Matt Dimarisco, who will be a sophomore. Dimarisco played in the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite program.

*Forward Cooper Foster, a Penguins sixth-round draft pick in 2023, forward Will Gerrior and defenseman Frankie Marrelli played together with the Ottawa 67’s in the Ontario Hockey League.

*Forward Tanner Howe, a Penguins second-round draft pick in 2024, played with Penguins prospect Brayden Yager at the 2022-23 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and with Penguins prospect Owen Pickering at the 2022-23 World Under-18 Junior Championships. Howe and Yager are childhood buddies.

*Forward Tristan Broz, the Penguins’ second-round draft pick in 2021, has often stated he grew up idolizing Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

*Goaltender Owen Say and defenseman Philip Waugh are teammates at Mercyhurst University.

*Forward Luke Devlin, a sixth-round Penguins pick in the 2022 draft, is the son of Toronto Raptors TV announcer Matt Devlin.

*Defenseman Chase Pietila and forward Logan Pietila are brothers and were teammates at Michigan Tech.

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