Unheralded winger steps into spotlight at Penguins training camp
Three days into Penguins training camp, an unlikely star has emerged in the annual intrasquad scrimmage tournament.
Ryan Haggerty, a 25-year-old winger coming off an excellent season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season, has scored a pair of remarkably clutch goals.
On Saturday, he connected from the right faceoff circle with 11.4 seconds left in the scrimmage to give his team a 1-0 win.
On Sunday, he scored on a breakaway with less than two minutes remaining to lift his team into a 4-4 regulation tie. His line, with Tobias Lindberg and Garrett Wilson, combined to score three times.
Haggerty is an undrafted right wing out of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who has been slowly climbing the AHL ladder in four seasons as a pro. He had a breakthrough season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last year, recording 16 goals and 37 points in 47 games.
Haggerty is playing this season on an AHL deal, so his immediate goal is obvious. He wants to turn heads and earn an NHL contract.
“Obviously it’s a privilege to be invited once again to Pittsburgh’s camp,” Haggerty said. “I just want to make some noise and give myself the best chance in Wilkes-Barre to get an NHL contract.”
Haggerty plays a no-nonsense, straight-line game and has a dangerous shot and decent size at 6-foot, 200 pounds. His skating is mostly effective but not very pretty, which is probably the biggest reason his path through professional hockey has been uphill.
“Everyone has their journey,” Haggerty said. “I don’t think anyone has a specific way to get to the NHL or the AHL. I can tell you one thing. It’s been fun to get to play hockey every day. I love doing it.”
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at email@example.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.