All week, the coaches and staff members most heavily involved in the Penguins' development camp have fielded many questions about the bevy of top defensive prospects.
When asked about the forwards in camp, they voluntarily and quickly have gushed about one player in particular.
It's all right if those outside of the organization haven't heard much, if anything, about Payerl. He wasn't drafted. At 22, he hasn't played in an NHL game and spent some time last season with Wheeling in the ECHL. So, why the buzz?
Penguins player development coach Bill Guerin said Payerl, a right winger, has shown the most improvement from one year to the next he has seen.
Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to the general manager, said Payerl fits the Penguins' playing style and is suited to playing their F-1 role, which is the first forward in on the forecheck and responsible for getting after the opponents' defensemen.
It might be a little too soon to project Payerl into one of the Penguins' vacant third- or fourth-line roles this season. He does, however, seem to be on a course that eventually could carry him to the NHL in some capacity.
If you're inclined to be an optimist, think Chris Kunitz, only bigger. As in a solid 6 feet 3, 218 pounds.
"I definitely see myself as a power forward kind of guy," Payerl said after camp practices Friday at Consol Energy Center. "I bring a physical element to my game every night, but I think I can chip in in different areas as well.
"I think I can be an offensive threat and play well in my [defensive] zone as well.
"When I was younger, I was more of a skill guy, and I've kind of grown into my frame a little bit and developed my game as a power forward the past few years. I'm going to try to build on that."
Payerl is from Kitchener, Ontario, where he played organized lacrosse up through a summer ago -- "My sidearm and my underhand were my secret weapons, I think probably from hockey," he said -- and practices shooting pucks into a backyard net.
In his final season of junior hockey, 2010-11 with Belleville, he had 22 goals, 47 points and 106 penalty minutes in 61 games.
His last name sounds like "peril," and that's what opponents might face if they bother his teammates.
He is not afraid to stick up for those teammates with his fists.
"If the opportunity presents itself, I won't shy away from that, but I don't think that's the only facet of my game that I can bring to the table." Payerl said.
He signed as a free agent with the Penguins in March 2012. Last season, he had one goal, 15 penalty minutes in four games with Wheeling of the ECHL.
Playing for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the higher-level American Hockey League, he amassed three goals, 10 points, 53 penalty minutes in 44 games.
"I got more confident as the season went on and had a good playoff run," Payerl said. "It's a short offseason, but I'm trying to maximize that.
"I'm more confident than I was here last year, and I'm just going to try to keep building on that."
Payerl occasionally posts on Twitter, where his handle is @adampayerl, but his main message is right there on his profile:
"Never push something to tomorrow that you could do today."
"It's just a mindset, whether you're working out or you're on the ice, you always want to try and improve as much as you can in the present," he said.
Fitzgerald, attempting to inject a little reality into Payerl's rising star, employed a similar message in offering a reminder that while the winger has shown a great deal of progress, he's not necessarily ready to skip ahead too far too quickly.
"I think first and foremost, his goal is to be an everyday top-three-line player in the American Hockey League, with the potential of playing NHL games with his game being consistent," Fitzgerald said.
"We all dream, but just worry about the now, because the now will take care of tomorrow."
For much more on the Penguins, read the Pens Plus blog with Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Shelly Anderson: email@example.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly.