It's been quite a week for Beau Bennett. The rookie forward started it off by earning his first invite to Pittsburgh's training camp, scored a beautiful goal in an NHL intrasquad scrimmage, got sent down, made the AHL All-Star team and played in Sunday's Outdoor Classic against Hershey.
It's been crazy. A good experience, Bennett said this week after practice. I learned a lot at my first NHL camp.
So did another rookie forward, Jayson Megna, who joined Bennett for a few days in Pittsburgh. And like his teammate, Megna also impressed with a nifty toe-drag goal during the shootout after Wednesday's scrimmage.
And while both players were sent back to Wilkes-Barre the day after the game, neither were disappointed.
We didn't get our hopes too high and we're back here ready to improve, Bennett said.
And apply what they learned from the NHL stars in Pittsburgh.
Megna said he was impressed with the speed and decisiveness of the NHL players.
The pace is so fast that you have to make a decision before you get the puck. That's something I can work on here, he said. They already know what they're going to do when they get the puck.
Deciding ahead of time paid off for Megna when his number was called during Wednesday's shootout. He connected against Pittsburgh goaltender Tomas Vokoun.
I jumped off the bench and had an idea. I decided to go with the move I'm most comfortable with, Megna said. It's nice to know my moves work against such a great goaltender.
With a little more time to develop in Wilkes-Barre, it may not be long until Bennett and Megna have a chance to test more of their moves against NHL goaltenders.
It's weird because you go up there and they definitely do things at a higher pace, Bennett said. You realize there's another level to work toward.