WILKES-BARRE — The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins begin the 20th season in franchise history on Saturday, and Anthony Peters will be in net. But how long will he be the starter?
Penguins coach Clark Donatelli confirmed Friday evening that Peters will get the start against Springfield in the opener at Mohegan Sun Arena. But earlier in the day, Pittsburgh reassigned Tristan Jarry to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after opening the NHL season on the injured list.
Peters and John Muse are the two goaltenders that have been with the team through AHL training camp. Jarry has yet to practice with the team and that could affect when the former second-round draft pick is able to play.
Despite the uncertainty, it was business as usual for Peters and Muse during Friday’s practice.
“I’m going to have the same approach whether you’re playing or not playing,” Peters said. “It is nice to know, but at the same time if you’re sitting on the bench you still have to be ready.”
Peters also said he isn’t concerned about the logjam at the goaltender position now that Jarry has been sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. With three goaltenders on the roster, it’s possible that either Muse or Peters head to Wheeling at some point when Jarry is indeed healthy enough to play.
“I’m not anxious at all. Either way it’s the same mindset,” Peters said.
Peters is excited, however, for the season to get underway. He said there’s a feeling in the locker room that all of the players are anxious to wrap up training camp and play the games that count.
“We’ve been here for so long now and there’s that build-up all summer. You’re waiting to get things going and we’re all looking forward to it,” he said.
• Donatelli said he will carry 16 forwards and 10 defensemen on the opening night roster, but that likely won’t be the case for long. After the weekend, the roster will probably be trimmed down before the team travels to Cleveland next week.
• Wilkes-Barre/Scranton signed defenseman Matt Abt and forward Renars Krastenbergs to AHL contracts on Friday.
Both Abt and Krastenbergs were participants in the Penguins’ recent training camp. Abt, 25, was a standout for the Penguins in the preseason, finishing the three-game exhibition schedule with one goal and two assists for three points, and Krastenbergs scored the game-winning goal in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s final exhibition contest, securing the team a perfect 3-0 record in the preseason.
Krastenbergs, 19, is a native of Latvia and came over to North America two years ago to play for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. Last year with the Generals, Krastenbergs set junior career highs with 21 goals, 17 assists and 38 points. He also represented Latvia at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Division I, topping the team with four goals during the tournament.