A rewarding experience for Broz at the Penguins camp


CRANBERRY, Penn. – Tristan Broz was seated in the Pittsburgh Penguins locker room, near the locker normally occupied by the veteran Evgeny Malkin.

The 19-year-old forward looked left, where other prospects were clustered on either side of another empty locker during Penguins development camp earlier this month. Above this locker, we saw the name of the captain of the Penguins Sidney Crosby.

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« I’m trying to take full advantage of the experience, » Broz said July 10. This is the Penguins locker room. This is Sidney Crosby’s locker. His name is still there. This is cool. To be here and wear this logo, it makes me humble. »

This is Broz’s first time in development camp since being selected in the second round (58th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft. He was unable to attend last September because he was already on campus at the University of Minnesota to start his freshman season.

« It sucked not being able to be here and not being able to get fully involved in the organization, » Broz said. But I always knew they were going to support me. I was still talking to them. I felt like I was part of the organization. »

It did, however, make some people in the organization less familiar with Broz.

« It’s his first year, » said JD Forrest, coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton farm club in the American Hockey League. For many players who have been drafted, they will have already attended three camps after three years. It’s sort of routine for them. But for him, it’s a whole new experience. Indeed, I had never met him before. »

The final season didn’t go as planned for Broz.

After scoring 51 points (19 goals, 32 assists) in 54 games with Fargo in the USHL in 2020-21, Broz has just 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 36 games at Minnesota.

He then announced on July 1 that he would be joining the University of Denver, which had just won the NCAA championship from Minnesota State.

His decision to transfer, however, had nothing to do with his declining production as a first-year player, Broz said, but rather a desire to strike out on his own and grow. away from his hometown of Bloomington, Minnesota.

« I think it’s a matter of personal development for me, » explained Broz. I believe both places would provide me with a similar developmental experience. Each university has a very good team and organizes very good training. My development on the ice will not be much different. But as a person, Denver is going to give me a place to grow up, to live alone, to cook for myself, and to take care of myself.

“I believe learning all of this will be invaluable to my time in Pittsburgh. »

Ultimately, the transfer could pave an easier path to the NHL, a level that Broz would like to reach “as quickly as possible”.

“He’s a good young man. He is sometimes misunderstood. He has a lot of offensive skills, noted Penguins director of player development Tom Kostopoulos. It was a trying year for him. He decided to make changes. I believe he is now in a good position in Denver. I am very excited about him and his future.

“I’m very happy that he’s a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. »


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