If the Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t have enough defensemen already, they made sure to increase their depth at the position by signing T.J. Kemp to a two-way contract (Faceoff-Factor).
Kemp spent last year in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons, associated with the Edmonton Oilers franchise. Kemp played 73 games for the Falcons (Hockey DB) and accumulated 46 points (8 G, 38 A).
He is returning back to the western half of Pennsylvania where he played NCAA hockey at Mercyhurst. Kemp has bounced around the country considerably since finishing college. He finished his four years at Mercyhurst with 100 points (32 G, 68 A) in 133 games.
In 2005-2006, Kemp bounced around to five different teams in the ECHL and AHL. The sporadic stops likely prevented him from developing any chemistry or familiarity, and thus his stats suffered. However, he found a home the next season with the Manchester Monarchs and totaled 38 points (5 G, 33) in 65 games.
A bit of a downside is his size. At 5-11, 197 pounds, he will have to bulk up to fit in on an NHL squad. Last year’s defense corps averaged a height of 6-2.25, 216.625 pounds.
I question the move considering the plethora of offensive defensemen already on the team and in the Penguins system. It seems that the scouting for the Penguins looks more highly upon defensemen’s offensive statistics than anything else.
Either way, the Penguins are still making moves and not solely looking at their main squad. It’s nice to know that the same amount of effort is being put forth to prospects as it is toward finding guys like Satan and Fedotenko.