The Pittsburgh Penguins are gearing up for their 2023-24 training camp, and fans are eager to see what this season has in store. With a revamped roster and high hopes, let’s dive into the details of this upcoming training camp and what it means for the Penguins.
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New Faces in the Penguins’ Nest
The 2023-24 training camp roster for the Pittsburgh Penguins boasts some exciting additions. Among them are Brayden Yager, Emil Pieniniemi, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin. These familiar names are the core of the team’s strength.
But it doesn’t stop there. The Penguins have injected fresh talent into the roster with the signings of defensemen Mark Pysyk and Libor Hajek, along with forward Austin Wagner on professional tryout contracts. These moves are set to make the training camp fiercely competitive.
Key Dates to Remember
The training camp is scheduled to commence on the 21st of September, following the Prospects Challenge. This year, the Penguins are returning to the Prospects Challenge for the second consecutive time, a sign of their commitment to nurturing young talent.
Before the official camp kick-off, the Penguins will engage in some preseason action. They are slated to face the Boston Bruins on September 15th, the Senators on the 16th, and the Sabres on the 18th. Mark your calendars, as the real training camp experience begins on Thursday, September 21.
A Season of Change
The Penguins’ 16-year streak of making the Stanley Cup playoffs came to an end last season, a historic run that captured the hearts of fans worldwide. However, change is on the horizon. With new General Manager Kyle Dubas making adjustments to the roster, the Penguins faithful have reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season.
The Venue: UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex
The training camp will be held at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, barring any unforeseen circumstances. It’s a state-of-the-art facility that provides the ideal environment for players to prepare for the grueling NHL season.
The Fresh Faces
The Penguins made six picks in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, and the first-round selection was forward Brayden Yeager. Yeager, who spent his previous season with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL, expressed his excitement about joining forces with his idol, Sidney Crosby.
In the third round of the draft, the Pens added defenseman Emil Pieniniemi, who had a standout season with the Finland Junior League team Karpat Jr. Two more talents from the Finland Jr. league, Emil Javentie, and Kalle Kangas, were picked in the seventh round.
Forward Mikhail Ilyin, hailing from Russia, was the fifth-round pick. He previously played for the KHL team Severstal Cherepovets.
The sole North American addition to the roster is forward Cooper Foster, formerly with the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL. Notably, most of the Penguins’ draft picks this year were North American skaters, a strategic move by the team.
A Robust Lineup
The Penguins’ roster for the 2023-24 season boasts 24 forwards, 14 defensemen, and 5 goalies. Here’s a breakdown by position:
- Noel Acciari
- Jeff Carter
- Sidney Crosby
- Lars Eller
- Jordan Frasca
- Ty Glover
- Vinnie Hinostroza
- Evgeni Malkin
- Rem Pitlick
- Lukas Svejkovsky
- Jake Guentzel
- Dillon Hamaliuk
- Andreas Johnsson
- Matt Nieto
- Alex Nylander
- Drew O’Connor
- Radim Zohorna
- Joona Koppanen
- Corey Andonovski
- Raivis Ansons
- Rickard Rakell
- Bryan Rust
- Reilly Smith
- Marc Johnstone
- Isaac Belliveau
- Will Butcher
- Taylor Fedun
- Mark Friedman
- Ryan Graves
- Pierre-Olivier Joseph
- Erik Karlsson
- Kris Letang
- Xavier Ouellet
- Marcus Pettersson
- Owen Pickering
- Chad Ruhwedel
- Ryan Shea
- Ty Smith
- Jack St. Ivany
- Joel Blomqvist
- Taylor Gauthier
- Magnus Hellberg
- Tristan Jarry
- Alex Nedeljkovic
Training Camp Kick-off
The Penguins’ training camp for 2023 is set to start on the 21st of September, immediately following the Prospects Challenge. While the full camp schedule is yet to be announced, fans can expect an exciting lineup of events and practices to prepare the team for the season ahead.
Player Development Camp
Before the training camp, the Penguins successfully completed their 2023 Player Development Camp in July. The 3-day camp featured 32 prospects and was held at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.
The Development Camp included daily on-ice sessions, practice drills, skills training, split-squad practices, and various off-ice presentations and activities. It provided valuable opportunities for young players to transition into full-time professional athletes.
The camp was open to the public and featured a roster of 18 forwards, 10 defensemen, and 4 goaltenders. One of the highlights was a thrilling 3-on-3 tournament, which showcased the talents of emerging stars.
The Penguins’ preseason schedule for 2023-24 features seven games, kicking off on September 24. Three of these games will be played on home ice at PPG Paints Arena.
The preseason begins with two split-squad games against the Columbus Blue Jackets on September 24. Subsequently, the team faces the Detroit Red Wings on September 26 and the Buffalo Sabres on September 28 at PPG Paints Arena.
Then, the Penguins embark on a journey to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a showdown with the Ottawa Senators on October 2 at the Scotiabank Centre. This game holds special significance, as it takes place just 10 miles from Sidney Crosby’s hometown of Cole Harbour.
The final preseason game is scheduled for October 6 on the road against the Buffalo Sabres at the KeyBank Center.
Meet the Coaching Staff
The Penguins’ coaching staff for the 2023-24 season is a group of experienced individuals who are dedicated to the team’s success. Here’s a glimpse of the coaching lineup:
- Mike Sullivan (Head Coach): Sullivan has been at the helm of the Penguins since December 2015 and has achieved 300 wins during his tenure. He made history as the first American-born coach to win multiple Stanley Cups in NHL history, guiding the Penguins to back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017.
- Todd Reirden (Associate Coach): Reirden played a crucial role in the Washington Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup victory as the associate coach.
- Ty Hennes (Assistant Coach): Hennes, who has been with the Pens since the 2018-19 season as the skills and skating coach, was promoted to assistant coach in November 2022.
- Mike Vellucci (Assistant Coach): Vellucci, a two-time OHL Coach of the Year and a one-time AHL Coach of the Year, brings over 20 years of coaching experience to the team.
- Andy Chiodo (Goaltending Coach): Chiodo, the current goaltending coach, previously played eight NHL games, all for the Penguins.
- Madison Nikkel (Video Coach): Nikkel plays a pivotal role in video analysis and strategy development.
- CJ D’Alimonte (Assistant Video Coach): D’Alimonte supports the video coaching staff in various capacities.
The Penguins’ coaching staff is a blend of seasoned veterans and fresh talent, ready to lead the team to victory.
As the Penguins prepare for their training camp and preseason games, fans eagerly await the start of the 2023-24 NHL season. With new faces, a determined roster, and a storied coaching team, the Penguins are poised for a comeback that could rival their past glories. Stay tuned for an exciting season of hockey in Pittsburgh!