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Penguins players to watch at Prospect Challenge

September 6, 2019, 1:25 PM ET [178 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
It is September and it is almost time to start talking about some real hockey. The first chance this is going to happen is the Prospect Challenge this weekend in Buffalo, NY. Penguins prospects will be competing against other players from Buffalo, New Jersey, and Boston.

Some players are more interesting than others. Here are some of the more intriguing ones to watch.

Calen Addison

He’s one of the best young prospects the Penguins have. Overall the cupboard is bare, but Addison has potential as a skilled defenseman with the ability to contribute offensively. He is the kind of defenseman that I think the Penguins should be taking a chance on. His development has the potential to greatly impact the Penguins roster. If he is able to make the big roster and contribute it would alleviate a lot the pressure surrounding a Justin Schultz extension. If he can’t stand out against other prospects he is not going to be ready in time to impact the Schultz situation.

Pierre-Joseph Olivier

He was the second piece in the Kessel trade. Alex Galchenyuk should be a decent forward for the Penguins. The problem is he is a pending UFA. If he has a great year the likliehood of him pricing himself out of Pittsburgh is pretty high. If he isn’t so good the Penguins are going to suffer immensely because they need him to help make up for the offense Kessel left with. If Galchenyuk turns into a one-year rental all that would be left from Kessel is Olivier. This is an opportunity to see if Olivier can drive play against other prospects. A good showing would open the door for the next step in his development.

Jordy Bellerive

A talented and offensively minded forward who will be playing for WB/S this year. There is promise with Bellerive and he is one of the more interesting players to track this upcoming year. If Bellerive is able to put up a point per game in the AHL we may be seeing him with the big club sooner rather than later. He is the kind of young player on an ELC the Penguins have been lacking in recent years. It would be a bonus for the big club if they could get another cheap and effective player at the NHL level.

Sam Poulin/Nathan Legare

Both first round picks aren’t expected to make a dent at the NHL level anytime soon. Both play in the QMJHL which has a track record of being more offensive than maybe some of the other major junior leagues. Can both of these players show that their offensive samples can translate outside of the QMJHL? Can they keep up with the pace of play? Their skating hasn’t been labeled as poor, but it hasn’t been talked about as an area of strength either.

Thanks for reading!

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