The Penguins announced their development camp roster on Monday. Of the 41 players invited to the camp, 17 were neither drafted by the Penguins nor have a professional contract with Pittsburgh or Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the 2019-20 season.
Who are those undrafted free agent invites? Let's take a look.
Size: 5-9, 161
Ahcan played for the University of Wisconsin last season, where he finished tied for eighth in team scoring with six goals and nine assists in 37 games. Wisconsin writer Todd Milewski gives the following scouting report for Ahcan:
"More of a playmaker than a scorer, Ahcan has shown the ability to be versatile in the forward corps. He can generate points commensurate with a position among a team’s top two lines. He also has the kind of tenacity that could make him a mainstay on the third or fourth line. He has been playing wing most of his life but said he’s willing to take on whatever responsibility UW coaches send his way."
Given that Ahcan has only played one season of NCAA hockey, he likely won't be getting a contract out of this camp. However, the Penguins have invited college players to camps in the past only to sign them one or two years later, if only to an AHL contract with Wilkes-Barre.
Size: 5-11, 161
Biro was a junior at Penn State last season, where he finished fourth in team scoring with 16 goals and 24 assists in 39 games. He played on the Nittany Lions' first, second, and third lines throughout the year, always alongside center Chase Berger. Berger is under contract with Wilkes-Barre and will also be attending development camp.
Penn State head coach Guy Gadowsky said Biro has "elite hockey IQ, and has very quick feet."
Biro will be returning to Penn State for his senior season and has been named captain for the 2019-20 season, replacing graduating senior co-captains Berger and Kevin Kerr.
Size: 5-9, 174
Boucher played for the University of New Brunswick last season, finishing fifth in team scoring with 13 goals and 16 assists in 28 games. He appeared in three of five playoff games, scoring one goal and two assists as New Brunswick went on to win the national title.
Prior to playing college hockey, Boucher played four seasons in the QMJHL, scoring 96 goals and 96 assists in 241 games. In his final QMJHL season with the Quebec Remparts, he scored 31 goals and 38 assists in 66 games. He plays on the penalty kill and power play.
Boucher attended the Avalanche's development camp last summer. His father is former Penguins defenseman Philippe, who was a midseason acquisition during the 2008-09 Stanley Cup season.
Position: Right wing
Size: 6-3, 170
Lemieux played his first season of NCAA hockey last season after being redshirted by Arizona State in 2017-18. He scored four goals and nine assists in 31 games.
Lemieux was more of an offense-first player in juniors, but worked on growing his two-way game in his first year at Arizona State.
“I think in today’s game, you see all of these kids that can go a million miles-per-hour and they get nothing done,” Arizona State head coach Greg Powers told The State Press. “Well, Austin, he can skate, and he can think, so we think before it is all set and done he is going to be a special player for us.”
Lemieux's father Mario also played hockey.
Size: 6-0, 190
Moskal finished ninth on scoring for the London Knights last season, scoring 14 goals and 22 assists in 68 games. It was his third year of OHL hockey.
The Hockey News offered this scouting report in 2018, Moskal's first year of draft eligibility:
"While Moskal’s speed is an incredible tool in his repertoire, his hands haven’t caught up to his legs yet at the OHL level. He can score and creates plays off of the rush, but at an average pace to this point in his career.
"On top of that, he tends to shy away from a lot of the physical play for the most part. At this point, his skating ability might be the one thing that teams will look at with hopes that they can further develop the rest of his game."
Size: 5-11, 180
Preston played his first year of NCAA hockey with Ohio State last season, and finished 10th on team scoring with five goals and nine assists in 35 games. Prior to joining Ohio State, Preston spent two seasons in the USHL with the Dubuque Fighting Saints, where he scored 24 goals and 31 assists in 51 games in 2017-18.
In his bio for Ohio State, he lists the Penguins as his favorite sports team and Sidney Crosby as his favorite player.
Preston attended the Jets' development camp in 2018.
Size: 6-0, 175
Spooner was a sophomore for Minnesota State Mankato, and finished fourth in scoring with seven goals and 20 assists in 41 games. His 300 faceoff wins ranked second on the team and 59th in the country.
"I'm more of a 200-foot forward, more of a defensive forward," Spooner told the Bismark Tribune. "I'm playing with so many talented players. To get to play Division I hockey at a place like Minnesota State with such a great group of guys, surpasses my wildest expectations of what I thought college would be."
Size: 6-3, 205
Tralmaks, a native of Riga, Latvia, was a sophomore for the Univeristy of Maine last season, and finished fifth in scoring with eight goals and nine assists in 36 games. His production was limited as he played through injuries. As a freshman, he finished third in scoring with 11 goals and 14 assists in 37 games.
Tralmaks attended the Senators' development camp in 2018.
Size: 5-8, 152
Trivigno was a freshman for UMass Amherst last season, and finished sixth in scoring with 13 goals and 15 assists in 39 games. UMass was the national runner-up last season, but Trivigno was suspended for the championship game after making contact with the head of a Denver player in the semifinal round.
Trivigno is the younger brother of Dana Trivigno, a two-time World Championship gold medalist and NWHL All-Star who most recently played for the Boston Pride.
Position: Right wing
Size: 6-1, 185
Williams split last season with the Medicine Hat Tigers and Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL. He scored nine goals and 12 assists in 41 games with the Tigers, and five goals and seven assists in 25 games with the Oil Kings.
Williams also played for Canada in the U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup tournament, scoring five goals and one assist in five games as Canada won the championship.
“With Josh’s skill level, he brings an offensive game to us,” said Oil Kings’ head coach Brad Lauer. “He’s a guy that doesn’t need a lot of time to get open. His biggest thing is finding that area on the ice in the offensive zone. He’s got a shot that can beat goalies from almost anywhere. That’s one area where obviously on the power play he’s our trigger guy.
Size: 6-1, 200
Allen is a native of Rovaniemi, Finland, and spent last season between JYP of the Liiga, and KeuPa of the second-tier Mestis league. He recorded one goal and one assist and a minus-3 rating in 35 games with JYP, and seven assists and an even plus/minus in 12 games with KeuPa.
Size: 6-1, 190
Lee was a junior for Western Michigan University last season, and finished fifth in team scoring, setting career highs with seven goals and 19 assists in 37 games.
Lee's uncle is former NHL goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and he is a cousin of Blackhawks forward Alexandre Fortin.
Size: 6-2, 198
Ross scored seven goals and 22 assists last season, finishing 11th on scoring on the OHL's Sudbury Wolves. The website OHL Writers gives the following scouting report:
"Ross is an intelligent two-way defender whose defensive game is already ahead of the development curve expected at this stage. However, his upside is directly linked to just how high his offensive abilities can take him.
"The general consensus is that Ross’ skating is just average. He has a short stride that prevents him from generating a quick first step. That quickness is lacking moving east-west as well.
That said, Ross makes up for any skating deficiencies with high level hockey IQ. Defensively, he keeps his gaps close and uses a long reach and active stick to break up plays. He angles opponents off extremely well but adding more physicality to his game would make him even more effective. He needs to become quicker in his puck retrieval and skating out of his own zone, but he does make a very good pass to transition to offense."
Size: 6-2, 198
Spott spent the past two seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. He recorded two goals, nine assists, and a plus-8 rating in 53 games in 2017-18, and eight goals, 21 assists, and a minus-30 rating in 2018-19.
Spott will be a freshman at Northeastern University in the fall.
Spott's father Steve is an assistant coach with the Sharks. He's cousins with former NHL forward Stephen Weiss.
Size: 6-2, 195
Jurusik was a junior at Michigan Tech last season, posting a 9-11-2 record, a 2.50 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage.
Jurusik began his NCAA career at the University of Wisconsin in 2015, and played two seasons before transferring to Michigan Tech. He was forced to sit out of the 2017-18 NCAA season due to the transfer, and played for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL that season, where he recorded a 21-22-1 record, a 2.89 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.
Size: 6-1, 185
Murray was a sophomore at UMass Amherst last season, where he posted a 20-5 record, a 2.11 goals-against average, and a .919 save percentage.
“I’ve never really been the kind of guy who’s jumping around or flopping around like you see with other goalies,” Murray told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. “We’ve done a lot of work with our sports psychologist here with the team, and he’s helped tremendously as well with keeping things mellow and staying in the right process.”
Size: 6-3, 195
Nappier was a sophomore at Ohio State last season, but it was his first season as starting goaltender. He recorded a 12-4-3 record, 1.86 goals-against average, and a .934 save percentage. He was named the Big Ten conference's best goaltender of 2018-19 and was on the conference's first All-Star team.
Nappier says he tries to model his game after Pekka Rinne.
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