The Pittsburgh Penguins have announced their roster for the 2015 rookie tournament to be held in London, Ontario on September 11-13.
The Penguins prospects and tryouts will compete against those representing the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators at Budweiser Gardens, home of the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights.
The Penguins will bring 16 forwards, 8 defensemen and two goaltenders to Ontario. 14 of the 26 players are already under NHL contract, three are on AHL contracts, two are unsigned draft choices and the rest are on try-outs.
The team will be led by defenseman Derrick Pouliot, who figures to spend most of his 2015-16 playing for the Penguins. They’ll also have experience in goal with 2014-15 AHL Goaltender of the Year Matt Murray between the pipes.
Four forwards — right-winger Josh Archibald (upper-body), right-winger Tyler Biggs (Achilles) center Oskar Sundqvist (hamstring) and left-winger Scott Wilson (wrist) — are all on the roster despite not having participated in the on-ice portion of last month’s prospect development camp due to injuries, and may see their first action of the off-season.
Sundqvist and Wilson will be competing with fellow rookie tournament team member Bryan Rust for one of the final spots on the squad in training camp.
The team’s 2015 draft class is represented, as well, with second-round pick and Penguins top prospect Daniel Sprong and fifth-rounder Dominik Simon both expected to play a large part in the squad’s offense.
Mickael Beauregard is a 6-foot-3, 193-pound defenseman from St. Jerome, Quebec. He’s played the last three-and-a-half seasons with the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL, where he put up identical three-goal, fifteen-point stat lines in each of the last two seasons. He is out of junior eligibility and is looking for a professional contract.
Nat Halbert is a 6-foot, 179-pound defenseman born in England and raised in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He’s played two seasons with the Blainville-Boisbraind Armada of the QMJHL. He put up five goals and 19 assists in 2014-15, his most productive season. The 19-year old will turn 20 at the end of September and is eligible to return for one final junior season.
Miles Liberati is from Cheswick, PA. The 20-year old blueliner was a 7th-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2013, but they chose not to sign him and lost his rights this offseason. He’s played just over 100 games over the last two seasons with the North Bay Battalion of the OHL after starting his junior career with the London Knights, where he played alongside Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta.
Evan Wardley spent the last three games of 2014-15 with the Penguins Double-A affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers, after finishing his junior career with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. Wardley, at 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, is a physical force on the back end, and he racked up 120 penalty minutes with Seattle last season. He is committed to attend the University of Lethbridge in the fall.
Sahir Gill is the seasoned vet of the group. 23-year old, 5-foot-11, 185-pound center spent the last two seasons bouncing around between the Nailers and the AHL after a successful career at Boston College. He ended up playing 37 AHL games in 2014-15, split between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the Hamilton Bulldogs. He is currently a free agent, but the Nailers still hold his ECHL rights.
Kameron Kielly is a teammate of the Sprong at QMJHL Charlottetown. The 18-year old center was eligible for the NHL draft for the first time in 2015, but was not chosen. By league rule, he will re-enter the draft next year.
Adam Krause also spent the end of 2014-15 with the Nailers, following his college season at Minnesota-Duluth. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound centerman has already signed an AHL contract with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the 2015-16 season.
The Penguins prospects will play Montreal at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 11, Ottawa at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 12 and Toronto at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 13.
The team’s full roster is available below.