Penguins

Wilkes-Barre Watch: Smooth-skating Abt uses size

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Matt Abt. -- KDP PHOTOGRAPHY / WBS PENGUINS

Size and smooth skating don't typically go hand-in-hand for many hockey players.

Rookie defenseman Matt Abt brings both to the table.

Abt, 25, is in his first full professional season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The 6-feet-4, 180-pound blueliner made his professional debut at the end of the 2017-18 season, joining the Wheeling Nailers after the conclusion of his senior year at RIT.

After recording a goal and five assists in 12 games with Wheeling last season, the Nailers signed Abt to a full contract over the offseason. Abt was invited to Wilkes-Barre's training camp in the fall and his standout preseason play earned him an AHL contract.

"I came into camp thinking I've got nothing to lose here," Abt told me this week. "Just go in, play your game, and if they think that there's a spot that I could step into, then that's great. If not, then maybe I'd end up in Wheeling. I'm really happy that I did get the opportunity to stay here. I think things have gone well since. ... I'm just kind of taking it day by day, but I'm really happy with the season so far."

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