top of page

Pens Development Camp Report: Part 2

The best of the rest of the Penguins Development Camp prospect pool.

Pittsburgh Penguins prospects take a face off
Penguins' Prospects (Photo by Pittsburgh Penguins).

In the second part of our Pens Development Camp report, I look at the best of the rest of the prospects, highlighting some deeper picks for quality players in the pipeline. To conclude this look at the players we'll wrap up with a ranking of prospect performances from the event and answering some follower Q&As about the day too.

If you missed Part 1 featuring the stand-out players of the day, check it out here.

Let's jump in and see what other names are also worth noting as we watch the future.



Belliveau was more tentative than I expected him to be coming off such tremendous numbers for two seasons in a row in the QMJHL. He scored 10 goals and 28 assists in 2021-22 and followed it up by producing 11 goals and 35 assists this past season. He additionally posted a goal and 6 assists in 13 playoff games this year with Gatineau. Belliveau possesses superior skating ability and a fine set of offensive instincts so his hesitation to jump in during camp as much on drives as his stats tell us he likes was, to my mind, an effort to play a more defensively responsible game to show off his other capabilities while in front of the team's brass. When he did leap into the mix up front, however, he was a fine puck-handler with sharp instincts and anticipation. I wanted to see more of that from him. Hopefully, we will when he debuts with the WBS Penguins in the AHL this season.


Free agent Atlee Calvert stood out well among the group despite being an invitee. He’s a speedy forward that is most effective off the rush. He already had more polish from his CHL major junior experience than many prospects from other less competitive leagues. Calvert is the Pens' first round pick Brayden Yager’s linemate in Moose Jaw which might have been his foot in the door at development camp. His positive performance in Pittsburgh over the weekend could result in him winning a non-drafted free agent contract from that "in" though. At the very least we may see him asked back to play for the Penguins in September’s Prospect Challenge tournament for further evaluation of how he plays within the system.


The brother of the third overall draft pick and fellow University of Michigan teammate Adam Fantilli, Luca showed he's a skilled player in his own right at Pens development camp. Fantilli is a very speedy defender with tremendous skating, an aptitude for shutting down plays, and a strong ability to join the rush. He held his own among the Penguins’ prospects as another free agent invite. He likes to hop in on offense a lot and works well when transitioning play in the neutral zone in particular. This fits with the overall mold the Pens seem to be striving for in their defensive futures so a contract might not be out of the question for him either.

Pittsburgh Penguins prospect goalie Taylor Gauthier
Taylor Gauthier (Photo by Pens Report).

TAYLOR GAUTHIER [G, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL)]

Gauthier had a tough stretch during the development camp tournament when he was completely lit up for roughly seven goals in a rather unlucky spell while taking on the top trio of Poulin-Yager-Laatsch. But he showed a streak of nice saves in between and has decent overall mechanics. He was also very strong in the shootout in particular. It seemed like he was most effective when facing scoring tries from his starting setup rather than in the scramble or from rushes. He was easily the second-best goaltender present and leaps ahead of the two free agent invites Flores and Simpson. Still, he has miles and miles to go to catch up to Blomqvist on the Penguins' organization depth chart but the basics are there. And at age 22, he still has time to grow in the game.

Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Ty Glover
Ty Glover, left in white, faces off (Photo by Pens Report).

TY GLOVER [LW, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL)]

Ty Glover was another minor league player whose pro status put him ahead of the curve among the younger players in the group. He was a stabilizing presence who focused on sitting back and settling up plays with the occasional peppering of scoring attempts in precision spots. He also liked to be pesky around the netfront which is always a handy player type to have around. At 6'3" and 201lbs, he has the size to do well in such a role. He handled faceoff duties for his team from his background playing center too. Heading into his second full season as a pro and being 22 years old this will be a pivotal year to see if Glover can produce the statistical results to show if he has the stuff to make a run at the NHL level or not.

KALLE KANGAS [D, Jokerit U20 (Finland)]

I only noticed him enough to get a few thoughts recorded but what stood out most was that Kangas was big and mean. He got into a slight cross-checking battle on ice at one point. He came in at 6’4” so that skirmish stood out. As did the fact that he was just drafted a week before and attending his first team event but had the gumption to get so feisty in an exhibition. In terms of play, he didn’t distinguish himself on ice a lot but that’s a positive thing for his role as a defensive defenseman. The less you see of them the better as they’re usually in the background tracking players quietly. Shutdown players are less noticeable overall. He was always in the right spot, which is what you need from him. One point of note was his impeccable positioning when boxing out in front of the net, at his height that’s a skill that’s extremely attractive in a defender. Think of Victor Hedman’s ability to get in the way and shut down a shooter's sightlines. That could be the type of tactic Kangas could mimic well. Right now he seems like a long-term project though. He’ll only play in Finland’s second-tier league Metis next season. He does play for Jokerit though which is known for producing top talent so he’s with one of Europe’s most well-regarded organizations as he prepares for the Pens.


Plante wasn’t among the names that stood out consistently as he tended to fade into the background for stretches. However, he occasionally popped up in a sneaky position for a very nice opportunistic scoring attempt that showed a very crafty spark. That’s clearly the type of skill the Penguins are looking to cultivate in him and with more time and development over the next few years they might be able to coax that out on a more reliable basis. He has a very effective, deceptive shot as well. It was one of the better ones in the forward group, although below that of Yager, Poulin, and Broz's. Plante would also do well to get bigger size-wise because he was one of the players on the noticeably smaller end while out with the entire group on ice at just 165 lbs. He’s graduating from USHL juniors to the esteemed Minnesota-Duluth program this season which should be a crucial formative year for predicting his future as a viable prospect. I expect him to make a big step forward in progress while there.

Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Chase Yoder
Chase Yoder, in black, carries the puck (photo by Pens Report).

CHASE YODER [C, Providence (NCAA)]

Yoder is a decent all-around player who doesn’t make many mistakes and projects as a defensive line center. He was more comfortable playing a given situation as it unfolded than taking the puck himself and spearheading drives. Still, he's steadily increased his production output each year by about three goals like clockwork in the NCAA with Providence, which shows he has a nice aptitude for growth. He'll return to the program for his senior season this fall where he gets tremendous coaching from the esteemed Nate Leaman. If Yoder can consciously work on raising his output and remaining a reliable utility forward, he could be a late-round surprise that turns into a very stable, workhorse-type player. For added dimension, he’s the kind of archetype who would be well-suited as a penalty kill specialist. That may be the special skill that allows him to write his ticket to the next level post-college if he makes it a priority to incorporate it into his game. Think Craig Adams with more scoring upside here. Expect to see him brought up to the minor leagues when his NCAA school year ends next spring.

Prospect Performance Rankings:

From their development camp tournament performances.

1. Sam Poulin. (And it wasn’t really close, he’s a nearly finished product.)

2. Brayden Yager

3. Joel Blomqvist

4. Owen Pickering

5. Emil Pieniniemi

Other names in the mix near this top five list: Emil Jarventie & Lukas Svejkovksy. They were quietly strong & had the most maturity with the puck out of any players aside from Poulin.

Next tier: Thimo Nickl, Daniel Laastch, Cooper Foster, Ty Glover, Luke Devlin, Tristan Broz, Isaac Belliveau.

Follower Development Camp Questions:

Can Brayden Yager make the team out of camp?

A: Probably not but he'll put on a hell of a show when there as he works with established pro players and that will really get fans pumped about his future. He should knock some socks off in exhibition games with his skill. The Yager hype train officially starts in September. Camp should give us a better glimpse at his realistic timeline to make it to the league based on how well he keeps up with the NHLers too. One thing's for certain, he's already way too skilled for the CHL though.

Did Owen Pickering take a step back?

A: It might just be that the Penguins' prospect pool is a little more full now but he is longer term project no doubt. He’s obviously very dynamic and highly skilled but still putting the pieces together and maturing both physically and mentally. He still has a lot to learn about playing roles, situation analysis, risk-reward assessment, all things that simply take playing experience.


Remember to bookmark Pens Report for all the latest Pittsburgh Penguins news, analysis, previews, and more.

Read some of our recent stories:

And follow Pens Report on social media @PensReport: on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and now on Threads- @PensReport.

Owen Robinson is the founder, editor, and lead writer for Pens Report. A resident of the North Hills he’s covered the Penguins as a reporter and photographer for various outlets since 2011, including through two Stanley Cup seasons. In his spare time, he enjoys classic film, concerts, photography, Mac Miller, and hanging out with a good cat. You can follow him on Twitter @itsowenrobinson


bottom of page