Penguins: Josephs Hopes To Have Immediate Impact
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 recording 12 goals and 18 points in 13 games as a Wheeling Nailer in the ECHL.
With the Penguins winless in five straight and looking for a 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 he missed training camp and the first two months of the season recovering from an injured shoulder.
He bounced back for a solid second half with the Nailers, recording 36 points in 43 games, but said all the ice time he missed put him behind as a rookie. He was able to skate a lot more over the summer and work on parts of his game, such as 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 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/Scranton 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 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.”
Contact the writer:
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Giant Center
Online: The game will be streamed on AHL TV and at wilknews.radio.com.
About the Bears: Hershey enters tonight’s matchup last in the Atlantic Division, but is only four points out of third. It has scored the fewest goals of any team in the Eastern Conference (50) through 20 games. Forward Mike Sgarbossa has two goals and an assist over his last two games against the Penguins, and he had the game-winner in Saturday’s contest at Mohegan Sun Arena. Former Penguin Jayson Megna has caught fire with four goals over his last six games. The team’s power play units rank only 18th in the AHL, which is good for a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton team trying to snap its prolonged shorthanded slump.
■ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 7-1-1-1 in its last 10 games at Giant Center.
■ Ryan Haggerty is still scoreless this season, but has seven assists over his last six games.
■ Forward Tobias Lindberg remains day to day with his injury, Donatelli said on Tuesday.