By TOM VENESKY
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins signed four more players to tryout agreements on Saturday. They include forward Chris Barton and goaltender Scott Darling to professional tryout agreements (PTO). In addition, defenseman Harrison Ruopp and goaltender Matt Murray have agreed to amateur tryout agreements (ATO) with the team.
Darling, 24, joins Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the second time in two weeks having signed his first PTO of the season with the Penguins on March 27. Darling did not make an appearance during his first stint with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The third-year pro went 13-12-3 over 31 games with the Wheeling Nailers this season, posting one shutout, a 2.80 goals against average and a .906 save percentage.
Darling made his American Hockey League debut earlier this year, inking a PTO with Hamilton on Nov. 14 and skating in one game for the Bulldogs. A sixth-round pick (#153rd overall) of the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Darling played collegiate hockey with the University of Maine from 2008-10.
Barton, 25, was the second-leading scorer on the Nailers in 2012-13 with 43 points (23G-20A) in 47 games and was tied for team lead in goals. He has made four appearances this year with the Penguins, amassing six penalty minutes.
A native of Calgary, Alberta, Barton was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team last season as he ranked first on the team with 29 goals and 60 points over 69 games.
Ruopp, 20, recently completed his fourth season with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Ontario Hockey League, posting a goal, 15 assists and 132 penalty minutes over 65 games and also skating four postseason contests.
The Zehner, Saskatchewan-native was acquired by Pittsburgh on June 22, 2012 from the Phoenix Coyotes along with a 2012 third-round draft pick (Oskar Sundqvist) in exchange for Zbynek Michalek. Originally drafted by the Coyotes in the second round (84th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft, Ruopp has played in 214 career regular-season games for Prince Albert, totaling 34 points (3G-31A) and 395 minutes of penalties.
In his first full season as starter for the OHL’s Sault Ste. Greyhounds, Murray compiled a record of 26-19-4 over 53 games with a 3.67 GAA, .894 save percentage and one shutout. An 18-year old from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Murray was selected by Pittsburgh in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
Since 2010-11, Murray has gone 47-49-8 for the Greyhounds, while registering a 3.82 goals against average, one shutout and a .887 save percentage. He is 2-4 in six playoff appearances.
They join defenseman Clark Seymour, who was signed to an ATO last month. Seymour, 19, appeared in 62 games this season for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League.