Penguins forward Dustin Jeffrey (above) chatted with the media this morning:
On being a "veteran" of multiple prospect camps:
"I think this is my fourth camp here. I’ve been around a little bit. This is where, come September, you want to earn a spot. It starts right now."
On the available forward positions on the NHL roster:
"I think it’s a big year. If you at the contracts they gave out to bring in some high-end defensemen. I think it’s going to leave some opportunities for young guys. It’s still early in the summer. They could pick up some veteran players and whatnot. As of right now there’s an opportunity for one or two guys from Wilkes-Barre that were there all year to play here. They don’t come around very often. This is the probably the first time in two or three years. You got to take advantage."
On his chances:
"I want to make it my spot. Absolutely. I shifted to the wing. I did some stuff that they asked me to do. Hopefully I can claim a spot and make a permanent position up here."
On what he can work on:
"Strength is a huge thing. Playing against guys for 80 games is a big step, even up from the (AHL). Just the little details. I think faceoffs are a big thing even though I played wing most of the year. I was playing penalty kill and power play and I was taking draws. And overall, just keep getting faster."
Was he secretly hoping the team would stay away from the forward position on the first day of free agency:
"(Chuckles) I can say I was happy they picked up two defensemen. That’s for sure. It left an opportunity for guys to come in here and earn a spot."
What does he need to do to claim an NHL roster spot:
"You got to battle yourself. You have to do what you do. I know if I can come in and I can play the way I did all year with confidence. It’s up to ourselves to take that spot."
(Photo: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins)