Friday, September 18, 2009

Roster Games - Forwards

So the Pens cut down their roster to 43. They sent a bunch of guys to Wilkes-Barre, returned Nathan Moon to juniors and cut Jamie Hunt.

That's not what inspired this post.

The release said they still had 26 forwards, 13 defense and 4 goalies in camp. I started wondering who was left, and what chance they had to make the team. The NHL roster size for the regular season is 23, and that usually breaks down to 13-14 forwards, 7-8 defense and 2 goalies.

Here's my round-up for the forwards:



Probably locks

That makes 12... and Talbot will fill a spot when he returns.

So who's left among the forwards that might have a shot at spot #13 (and 14, if they carry two extras)?
  • Ryan Bayda - The former Hurricane played 70 games last year for Carolina. He's a grinder.
  • Paul Bissonnette - Played 15 games for the Pens last year. Plays with an edge.
  • Wade Brookbank - Another former Hurricane on the roster. You'd think his chances are less than Bayda, but Brookbank does have size (he's 6'4"), which GMRS loves.
  • Luca Caputi - You want him to play regularly, so if he stays, it can't be to play 5:00 per night on the fourth line.
  • Chris Connor - Played in the Dallas system last year. I'm going to say he'll be in Wilkes-Barre.
  • Dustin Jeffrey - Dustin has turned himself into a decent NHL prospect. He played 14 games with the Pens last year.
  • Nick Johnson - Split last year between Wheeling and Wilkes-Barre. He'll play in Wilkes-Barre and continue to develop.
  • Konstantin Puskarev - Has an NHL tryout with the Pens. His fate may be determined by the preseason game tonight.
  • Wyatt Smith - Wyatt spent last year in the AHL. He's 32 and provides good depth in the organization, but he'll likely spend the year in Wilkes-Barre.
  • Eric Tangradi - Intriguing prospect that projects as a top 6 forward. He may not be ready for the NHL. See Luca Caputi.
  • Joe Vitale - Joe came out of Northeastern and played a few games for Wilkes-Barre last year. He'll be headed back there, I think.
  • Tim Wallace - Good NHL experience last year. Tim is a tenacious player and could be a good fit on the 3rd or 4th line if he has enough speed.
My money is on either Caputi or Tangradi until Talbot returns, plus either Bayda or Wallace.


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