CRANBERRY, Pa. --Nick Bjugstad and Jake Guentzel will both play in Da Beauty League this summer, an offseason league based in Minnesota for professional and college hockey players.
The league, which was formed in 2015, runs from July 10 to Aug. 21. Each team plays an eight-game regular season schedule with games consisting of two 23-minute halves.
Players compete for the John Scott Cup:
[caption id="attachment_848649" align="aligncenter" width="640"] 2018 John Scott Cup champions, Bic. -- TEMOPHOTO.COM[/caption]
This will be Guentzel's fourth season in the league. He's the league's all-time scorer with 65 points, and scored 12 goals and seven assists in eight games last season.
"I mean, I don't want to compare it to the Cup playoffs, but as you get into those final four teams, the games get a little intense. Guys know that there is a Cup on the line," Guentzel told NHL.com. "Every guy still wants to win."
Bjugstad scored eight goals and five assists in seven games last season.
“The first time I pulled in the parking lot, I thought I was just going to play a pick-up 4-on-4 hockey game,” Bjugstad told the NHL Network. “The parking lot was full. You pull up and it changes the pace because the whole arena is sold out. The kids are into it and it makes everyone else get into it in July.
“It’s a very competitive league and it’s definitely good to just try new stuff and to get into that competitive flow,” Bjugstad said. “It’s good competition to get you ready for the season."
Last season, Bjugstad played on the same team as Teddy Blueger, who recorded three goals and 10 assists in seven games. Penguins defense prospect Clayton Phillips also played in the league in 2018, and scored one goal and four assists in eight games.
“It’s really cool,” Phillips told the Penguins of playing in the league. “You’re a small fish in a big pond out here with all these really good hockey players. It’s a blast, though.”
Notable participants last season include Alex Goligoski, Brock Boeser, Brock Nelson, Derek Stepan, Zach Bogosian, Anders Lee and Jazon Zucker.
Boeser was last season's leading scorer with 16 goals and 18 assists in nine games.
Full rosters and coaching staffs have yet to be announced, and will be released closer to July 10. Games will be streamed on the league's website.