Source: Tom Venesky | Times LeaderNewest WBS Penguins’ addition Troy Joesphs talks about his first few days with the team.
WILKES-BARRE — Skating in his first game as a pro hockey player on Saturday, Troy Josephs admits he felt the jitters.
But then he took a hit.
And later he gave one.
All was fine.
Josephs, who was Pittsburgh’s seventh-round pick in 2013, made an immediate impression on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins staff during Saturday’s game against Lehigh Valley.
Josephs was quick, the pace of play wasn’t a problem and he played physical.
“Coming here I wanted to make a physical presence with speed,” Josephs said after Monday’s practice. “It’s something I took into account coming into the game - make sure I get my hits and make the smart play.”
The 22-year-old forward from Whitby, Ontario, recently wrapped up his senior season at Clarkson University, scoring a career-high 20 goals, 33 points and adding 42 penalty minutes. He was also a plus-10, which is indicative of Josephs’ ability to play a two-way game.
“A two-way forward that works hard, plays 200 feet of the ice, is strong defensively and pitch in offensively when I can,” is how Josephs describe his game.
Head coach Clark Donatelli said he intends to use Josephs as a bottom six forward who can create energy. He also indicated Josephs will see time on the penalty kill at some point and he’ll match up against other teams top lines.
That sounds good to Josephs, who has been to several Pittsburgh rookie camps and is familiar with the style of play in the organization.
He’s also is aware that it’s crucial to continue developing as a player, something he did in all four of his seasons at Clarkson.
“Staying healthy was a really big thing for me,” Josephs said of his senior season. “A lot of it all is about confidence, working hard at practice and bringing that to the game.
“And being a pro is probably the best way to stay in the lineup.”
• Donatelli hopes the additions of Josephs and prospect Zach Aston-Reese bring fresh legs to the lineup and instills a healthy competition for ice time.
“Hopefully these guys coming in only playing 30-plus games can bring some energy for us,” Donatelli said.
• Forward Garrett Wilson practiced with the team on Monday but won’t return until possibly next weekend, Donatelli said. Defenseman Stuart Percy is still dealing with an injury and is week-to-week.
Reach Tom Venesky at 570-991-6395 or on Twitter @TomVenesky