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Eric Majeski's (aka Netwolf) Camp Reports for LetsGoPens.com

2012 Development Camp, Day 2

July 11, 2012

Let's get the shameless self-promotion and schedule out of the way early, thanks to a quick (read: lazy) cut and paste from yesterday's opening: The Pittsburgh Penguins were nice enough to extend an invitation to me for Prospect Development Camp this week, so I was there this morning and will continue to be all week. Check back here for daily reports and follow me on Twitter at @LGP_netwolf for observations during each session.

The rest of the week shakes out like this:

Thursday, July 12th: 10am to noon
Friday, July 13th: 9:15am to 11:30am
Saturday, July 14th: Scrimmage from 3pm to 5pm

Today I'm going to start off with a tangent off of yesterday's rant. (Just bear with me here. I promise it won't be as long. Or preachy.) I talked about not reading too much into things and coming to your own conclusions on these guys whenever you do get a chance to see them for yourselves. Along those lines, I also think it's a good idea to check out a variety of sources. I pass along what I see, but I don't catch everything. I watched practice with a group of other bloggers today, and it's always good to get other opinions and hear about things they saw that I missed. Here are some other people you should check out that have been at camp this week and/or will be later on. If you aren't already checking out their stuff, I'd highly recommend checking them out on Twitter and visiting their respective websites:

@PensNation_Andy and @PensNation_Nick from thepensnation.com
@zboslett and @jmarshhh from faceoff-factor.com
@IanAltenbaugh from hockeysfuture.com

On to the observations:

New rosters were handed out with updated heights and weights from earlier testing. The blueline is even bigger than first thought. Add Scott Harrington to the list of defensemen that checked in at 6'2", 200 or bigger. In fact, there are only 3 guys under 6'2" (Joe Morrow at 6'1" and Derrick Pouliot and Alex Velischek, both at 5'11") and 3 guys under 200lbs (Nick D'Agostino-197, Pouliot-195, Philip Samuelsson-194). And while not all of these big guys skate like Morrow or Velischek, I wouldn't say skating is a liability for any of them either.

Morrow's shot is just ridiculous. Even in warm-ups, he was throwing that wrister on net with seemingly no effort. You could just see how heavy it was, and on the rare occasions it didn't hit the net, you could hear it.

Again, liked what I saw from Matia Marcantuoni. He's got good hands, a quick shot, great wheels, and from what I've seen outside of this camp, a real high motor driving all of that. I still think that, provided he can stay healthy, the Pens may have a pretty nice steal on their hands.

Beau Bennett flashed his high skill level again. The wrist shot was on display once again, and on one point shot drill, he collected a rebound on his way to the net, made a quick fake into a toe drag around the goaltender and roofed it under the bar. A very high skill play and he made it look very easy.

Unlike yesterday's drills, there was some defending going on today. The one-on-one drills are always fun to watch. Big Andrej Sustr, now listed at 6'7", 224, dominated this drill. You might have expected that from a guy with that big of a wingspan, but the impressive part of it was the skating. He was able to keep up with every guy that opposed him, even the speedy Marcantuoni.

Conversely new first round picks Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot had some issues with this one. To be honest, neither player has jumped out at me all that much over the first two days, but it is important to note two things. They are both among the youngest guys in attendance and defense is a tough position to learn, especially when facing older, stronger, more experienced guys.

Reid McNeill played some solid defense as well. There were a couple of times where it looked like a forward had gotten by him, but he would recover and poke the puck away or just get enough of the guy to knock him off stride and alter the shot. He also absolutely crushed Anton Zlobin along the boards. Zlobin was slow to get up, but shook it off and looked to be okay afterwards.

Dominik Uher was sniping under the bar again, scoring on three straight shots at one point. I still don't think that will be his game at the NHL level, but maybe calling him a Czech Max Talbot was underselling his skill a little bit.

Kenny Agostino had another good day. In the point shot drill, he found a puck in his feet while he back was to the net and was able to backhand it between his legs and the goalie's. In the one-on-on drills, he showed his strength. He was very good as using his body to hold off defenders and shield the puck, even against bigger guys.

The Penguins were also nice enough to provide me with locker room access after practice. It was the first time I was fortunate enough to get down there and while I was just observing, it was nice to get a feel for how the inside of an NHL locker room operates. I also got to hear Bill Guerin fire off a great one-liner when asked about Pens' opening for a top 6 forward: "I'm retired guys."

Check back tomorrow for more coverage of the 2012 Penguins Development Camp from Consol Energy Center.

Back to Netwolf's Camp Report List

 
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