The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins added depth to their roster with four more re-signings, bringing back forwards Jarrett Burton, Joseph Cramarossa and Troy Josephs, and defenseman Kevin Spinozzi. All contracts are AHL-level and for one year.
Burton, a 27-year-old center, returns for his fifth year in the organization. He first signed with the Nailers in 2014, following the conclusion of his senior season at Clarkson University. For the past three seasons, he has split time between Wheeling and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Burton has recorded 33 goals, 47 assists in 118 ECHL games, and 18 goals, 14 assists in 114 AHL games.
The 6-foot tall native of Echo Bay, Ontario is a career minor-leaguer, but is a strong veteran presence and penalty killer for Wilkes-Barre, as well as one of the team's best at faceoffs.
[caption id="attachment_662756" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Joseph Cramarossa. --KDP PHOTOGRAPHY / WBS PENGUINS[/caption]
Cramarossa, 25, returns for his first full year in the Penguins organization. Wilkes-Barre traded for the 6-foot tall Cramarossa in February, sending Colin Smith to the Stockton Heat. Cramarossa recorded six goals and six assists in his 28 games with the team after the trade. Cramarossa is versatile and can play both center and wing, and has 229 games of AHL experience under his belt.
He scored this goal in the playoffs in Game 2 against Charlotte:
[caption id="attachment_521417" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Troy Josephs. -- ZACK RAWSON/ WHEELING NAILERS[/caption]
Josephs, a 6-foot-1, 24-year-old center, was the Penguins’ seventh-round pick in 2013. He never signed an NHL deal with Pittsburgh, and instead signed an AHL contract with Wilkes-Barre out of college and will play his second full professional season next year.
Josephs was scoreless in four games with Wilkes-Barre this season but saw success in Wheeling as a strong two-way center. He scored 16 goals and 20 assists in 43 games with the Nailers. He's certainly earned the chance to see more time in Wilkes-Barre.
“I honestly believe I’m going to fit well in their system moving forward, moving from Wheeling to Wilkes," Josephs told me last season. "The hope is, of course, always making it to the NHL, whether it be Pittsburgh or somewhere else, but this organization has been unbelievable and they do everything they can to help weed guys through and get them to the next level.”
[caption id="attachment_662751" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Kevin Spinozzi blocks a shot in Wheeling. -- ZACK RAWSON / WHEELING NAILERS[/caption]
Spinozzi, a 22-year-old left-handed defenseman, signed with Wilkes-Barre last season after earning a contract out of their training camp. He only played 16 games through March, and spent a lot of time as a healthy scratch before being reassigned to Wheeling. He played 12 games with the Nailers to close out the season, during which he scored two goals and three assists.
Here is Spinozzi's (No. 2) first goal in Wheeling, picking up Reid Gardiner's rebound:
Spinozzi, who is 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, had a successful OHL career before turning pro, recording 28 goals and 85 assists in 275 games over five seasons. He'll likely spend more time in Wheeling this season as he looks to become more acclimated to professional hockey.
The Penguins open the 2018-19 season at home on Oct. 6 against the Springfield Thunderbirds. The full schedule can be found here.
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