In some maneuvering before the expected NHL lockout tonight, the Penguins today assigned 23 players to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League and three players to their respective junior teams.
The biggest names going to the AHL are defensemen Simon Despres and Joe Morrow and winger Beau Bennett. Those three, who are former first-round draft picks, particularly Despres, are expected to vie for an NHL roster spot once training camp gets under way.
The other players assigned to Wilkes-Barre are forwards Brian Gibbons, Tom Kuhnhackl, Jayson Megna, Adam Payerl, Zach Sill, Paul Thompson, Dominik Uher, Keven Veilleux, Philippe Dupuis, Benn Ferriero, Riley Holzapfel, Warren Peters and Trevor Smith; defensemen Brian Dumoulin, Reid McNeill, Philip Samuelsson, Carl Sneep, Alex Grant and Dylan Reese; and goaltender Patrick Killeen.
Three other defensemen prospects were sent to their junior teams -- Scott Harrington and Olli Maatta to the London Knights and Derrick Pouliot to the Portland Winterhawks.
Shelly Anderson: email@example.com, 412-263-1721 or Twitter @pgshelly