The Penguins signed 2014 4th round pick Sam Lafferty to a 3 year ELC starting on July 1st with an ATO to play in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the remainder of the season. The Holidaysburg, PA native spent the last 4 years playing at Brown University and put forth two strong years in his junior and senior year. While the point total may not be especially impressive, Lafferty was working with very little, as Brown’s rigorous academic requirements make it difficult to create a strong hockey program. Despite this, Lafferty went over a point per game in his junior year (35 points, 13 goals in 31 games) and although his senior year wasn’t as impressive (22 points, 8 goals in 31 games), he still led his team in points. He also served as alternate captain the last two years and was a Hobey Baker nominee following his outstanding junior season.
A solidly built 6’1″, 185 pounds, Lafferty is a prototypical Penguins draft pick with a strong 200-foot game and positional versatility. Having played center for the majority of his college career, Lafferty has the ability to play on the wing due to his good skating as well as his work on the walls and difficulty to move off the puck. He’s got a strong work ethic as evidence by Penguins Assistant GM Billy Guerin stating, “When you meet him, you look at him, he looks like he’s 12. … His first development camp, he might have been one of the weaker guys. Then, his very next one — and since then, I think — he’s been No. 1.” He also has an outstanding hockey IQ, as to be expected from a Ivy League alum.
Look for him to join WBS for their stretch run, with him possibly taking Gage Quinney’s spot in the lineup between Garrett Wilson and Tom Kostopoulos. Last year, the Penguins put Aston-Reese on a line with Kostopoulos and fellow veteran Kevin Porter to help ease in the rookie. I expect Clark Donatelli will try a similar move with Lafferty.