Josephs Brings A Scoring Touch
WILKES-BARRE — With their latest three-in-three weekend complete and three more games directly ahead, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins stayed off the ice for a workout Tuesday at the Toyota SportsPlex.
Given the way he’s been playing of late, that might be the only way to slow down forward Troy Josephs.
The 24-year-old rejoined the Penguins this week after going on a tear through the ECHL, recording 12 goals and 18 points in only 13 games as a Wheeling Nailer. With Wilkes-Barre/Scranton winless in five straight and looking for any kind of spark, Josephs is hoping that production can translate to the AHL level.
“It’s been a great start for me, individually,” Josephs said. “Really happy with how things are working out and, (with) just my confidence right now, I’m really happy.”
His hot start is a far cry from last year, when the Clarkson University product missed training camp and the first two months of the season as he recovered from an injured shoulder.
He bounced back for a great second half with the Nailers, recording 36 points in 43 games, but said all the ice time he missed understandably put him behind as a rookie. He was able to skate a lot more over the summer and work on different parts of his game, like his presence around the net and ability to finish plays.
“I always felt I was able to score,” he said. “It’s just being put in certain situations and opportunities allowed me to do that and, so far in Wheeling, I’ve been able to take advantage of that.”
If Josephs can keep up his roll, it would be great for a Penguins team that has yet to truly establish scoring depth. Gage Quinney provided it last season after his promotion from Wheeling and was a key part of the lineup as the schedule progressed.
The second-year pro said staying in Wilkes-Barre long-term is definitely “in the back of my mind,” and he will do what he can to make the most of this latest opportunity.
Josephs should get a chance to prove himself relatively quickly. With a game against Hershey tonight and two more in Rochester and Toronto approaching fast, head coach Clark Donatelli said the team is planning to insert him into the lineup and capitalize on his current surge.
“More importantly, he’s playing the right way,” Donatelli said. “He’s winning his 1-on-1 battles, using his speed, and as an end result, he’s scoring some goals. We expect him to do the same thing up here.”
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