Pittsburgh Penguins Farm Report: Analysing the players next-in-line for selection
The most important part of having a successful franchise is a very good farm system. The Pittsburgh Penguins have had a very good farm system for years now. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL) have some players waiting in the wings to be called up.
The good news is that the Pittsburgh Penguins haven't really needed to rely on them in the first month of the regular season. The only time Pittsburgh really needed to make a call-up was when Antti Niemi was claimed by the Florida Panthers, following which they promoted defenseman Frank Corrado and goalie Casey DeSmith.
After DeSmith made a relief appearance against the Winnipeg Jets, he was sent back down in favor of Tristan Jarry. It seems like Jarry is going to stay up in Pittsburgh for good now to be Matt Murray's backup. Jarry has been NHL-ready for a while now and had 32 saves against the Calgary Flames last week.
It is good that Jarry was able to perform, but I felt like DeSmith needed a chance to prove himself. Nevertheless, it is a good thing that DeSmith is getting reps down with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He plays in a good position, but the knock on him is he is only six feet tall. DeSmith has appeared in six games so far this season and his record is 5-0-1 with a .934 save percentage and a 1.92 GAA.
Daniel Sprong will be the next guy called up if one of the Penguins forwards gets injured or if Pittsburgh feel like he is ready to roll. Sprong has scored eight goals and recorded four assists in 11 games so far this season. His plus/minus is 0. Sprong's defensive game is a little bit shaky and he can turn the puck over at times.
Dominik Simon is another Penguins prospect that skates well and plays hard. He is good in the faceoff circle. In 11 games, Simon has scored two goals and recorded eight assists so far this season.
Zachary Aston-Reese is a very good two-way forward, but he lacks offensive production. Aston-Reese has scored a goal and recorded two assists in nine games so far this season. His plus/minus is 6 which is a good thing.
Thomas Di Pauli is a very good two-way forward, but he will be in the minor leagues for probably all of the 2017-2018 season. Di Pauli scored two goals last night against the Toronto Marlies. He has four for the year and two assists in 10 games. His plus/minus is 2.
Teddy Bleuger is a centerman in the minor leagues and was actually considered to be Pittsburgh's third line centerman before the season started. Blueger was on the first line yesterday for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL). He skates well and defends well. In 11 games, Bleuger has scored two goals and recorded three assists so far this season. His plus/minus is 3.
The Penguins don't have a lot of good defensive prospects, but Lukas Bengtsson could be one of them. He is only 23 years old. Bengtsson is known for being a very good defenseman, but he also has some offensive talent to his game. Bengtsson hasn't scored a goal in 11 games this season, but has eight assists and his plus/minus is 4.