Photo: Jean Sebastien Dea is part of a large group of forwards who are beginning their professional career with the Penguins organization. Dea was signed as a free agent in 2013. (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)
When Jim Rutherford took over the general manager job for the Pittsburgh Penguins last June, he inherited an organization that was shallow at forward, from the NHL level all the way through the prospect rankings. Rutherford did not take long to address the problem, first picking four forwards in the 2014 NHL Draft, then augmenting the Penguins NHL roster with several talented veteran players.
Photo: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Josh Archibald begins his pro career after a breakout season offensively with the University of Nebraska-Omaha (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
Before the St. John’s IceCaps knocked off the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in last year’s AHL Eastern Conference Final, the conference’s champion and representative in the Calder Cup Finals had come out of the East Division the last ten years. Read more»
Photo: Defenseman Derrick Pouliot remains the top player in the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect pool. Pouliot was selected eighth overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Penguins began a new era in the 2014 offseason. They have a new general manager in Jim Rutherford, a new head coach in Mike Johnston, and a deeper group of forwards – at the NHL level and throughout the system – than the organization has seen in quite a while.
Photo: Former NHL forward Gary Roberts (left) coaches ECHL forward Michael Neal (right). The Gary Roberts High Performance Centre in North York, Ontario has become an increasingly popular destination for hockey players in the off-season (courtesy of David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Following his first season as a pro hockey player, Pittsburgh Penguins defensive prospect Reid McNeill came into the 2013 off-season with the goal of putting himself in as good of a position to succeed as humanly possible. So he took an off-season training route that is increasingly popular among NHL players, namely training with former NHL forward Gary Roberts.
Photo: Defenseman Reid McNeill (PIT) credits former OHL coaches Dale Hawerchuk and Dale Hunter for molding him into an NHL prospect. (CHL Images)
Defenseman Reid McNeill (PIT) was not on many scouting radars as a 15 or 16-year-old. He was not selected in the OHL priority draft and played as a 16-year-old for Lucas High School, located in London, Ontario, then later JrD level hockey for the Lambeth Lancers of the OHA. Then something happened.