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Wednesday April 16 2014
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Veteran Additions

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The Pens lost out on the gems of the free agent market, forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, but they did add to their depth with several veteran two-way signings in addition to adding some young bodies in trades.

Brandon Sutter, C- Acquired in one of the biggest trades of the offseason, Sutter will replace Jordan Staal on the Penguins’ third line behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.  After being taken 11th overall by Carolina in the 2007 Draft, he broke into the NHL during the 2008-2009 season, but only posted one goal and five assists in 50 games. The following season, he netted 21 goals and had a hand in 19 others for a 40-point season. Standing at 6’ 3” and 183 pounds, the 23-year old was highly coveted for his ability to be a defender on the penalty kill, something the Penguins need to improve upon. He’s aggressive at the faceoff and eager to become not only a defensive force, but also an offensive threat for the Penguins as well.


Tanner Glass, F- Glass scored 5 goals and 11 assists and posted a -11 rating in his lone season with the Winnipeg Jets. The 6-1, 210-pounder has solid NHL experience and provides quality defense up front. He boasted a career-high 246 hits for the Jets and blocked 51 shots last season, something the Penguins would love to see more of. Glass signed a two-year, $2.1 million deal and figures to land a spot on the team’s checking line.


Riley Holzapfel, F- The 23-year-old split last season between the Syracuse Crunch and the St. John’s Ice Caps of the AHL and was originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the second round of the 2006 NHL Draft. In a total of 259 AHL games, he’s tallied 48 goals and 71 assists for 119 points. Possessing an excellent work ethic and good skating skills, the addition of Holzapfel gives the organization quality offensive depth at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton


Warren Peters, F- Peters spent the past two seasons in the Minnesota Wild organization, splitting time between the Wild and their minor-league affiliate, the Houston Aeros. The 29-year-old has played 96 career NHL games over the past four years with the Wild, Dallas and Calgary. Peters provides a physical presence and has no problems dropping the gloves. He drew some publicity for his one-game suspension last season after a crosscheck on St. Louis Blues’ forward David Backes. Peters is another winger who will provide excellent depth and experience in the case of injury. 


Brian Doumolin, D- Doumolin also came to Pittsburgh as part of the Jordan Staal trade and really proved himself at this year’s prospect camp. In three seasons at Boston College he won two national titles and won back-to-back Hockey East Best Defensemen awards, was a First-Team All-American, and was nPhoto by Justin Berlamed one of the top 10 Hobey Baker Award finalists in his junior season before turning pro. He also won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2011 World Junior Championships. In his college career, he posted a total of 11 goals, 72 points, and finished with an impressive +90 rating. At 6’ 4” and 210 pounds, this lefty has the size, mobility, and the ability to play a shutdown role. He’s already shaping up to be yet another great asset to the defensive depth of the Penguins’ talent pool.


Dylan Reese, D- The Upper St. Clair native spent the last three seasons on Long Island with the New York Islanders, splitting time between the Isles and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, New York’s top minor league team. He posted career-high numbers last season with 28 games, 6 assists and 7 points. He has played a total of 74 NHL games with New York, tallying 3 goals and 14 assists. Reese has been praised for his offensive skills and skating, but his transition abilities, hockey smarts and improving defensive game should give his hometown team a player they can count on at both the NHL and AHL levels.


Harrison Ruopp, D- Acquired in the Penguins’ “other” draft day trade from Phoenix in exchange for defenseman Zybanek Michalek, the 6-3, 205-pound 19-year-old only added to the Penguins’ depth on the blue line. Ruopp impressed at this year’s prospect camp, as his aggressive style of play really caught the coaches’ attention. Pens GM Ray Shero has had his eye on Ruopp for time, as the team nearly drafted him in 2011. Shero likes the “physical edge he brings to the ice” and Ruopp has described his own play as “gritty.” He will return to the WHL this season, but his ceiling is high.


Trevor Smith, F- Smith spent the past season split between the Tampa Bay Lightning and their minor league team, the Norfolk Admirals. He appeared in 16 games for the Lightning and netted two goals and three assists for a total of five points and a +2 rating. He ranked sixth in the regular season for the AHL with 26 goals and 43 assists for 96 points in 64 games. With his NHL experience and impressive showing at the AHL level, he will be a force in Wilkes-Barre and a reliable call-up in Pittsburgh if the Pens should find themselves in another situation where they are plagued with injuries.


Jeff Zatkoff, G- Zatkoff played the past four seasons in the Los Angeles Kings organization after being drafted by LA in 2006. Last season he posted a record of 21-17-1, 2.49 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL in 44 regular season games.


Marc Cheverie, G- In his first season in the AHL with the Rochester Americans, he appeared in 15 games and had a 2-8 record.

It’s all starting to make sense. The Steelers have not made the playoffs the past two seasons. Those two years have seen the team part ways with players who were integral to a sustained run of success that resulted in a pair of Super Bowl championships.
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