When he was on the verge of his 19th birthday Chuck Kobasew was a star.

He had a goal in the semifinals and one in the final as Boston College won the NCAA hockey championship. He was named NCAA tournament MVP after earning Hockey East rookie of the year honors.
"He was a major impact player for us that year" recalled Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi a senior on that 2000-01 Eagles team. "He was pretty clutch for us in a lot of spots."

Kobasew 31 and Scuderi 34 are teammates again all these years later at Penguins training camp.
Kobasew was drafted by Calgary in the first round 14th overall just a few months after the NCAA title.

He left school and turned pro. While he hasn't matched the stardom he attained in his brief college career he has logged 568 NHL games getting 108 goals and 208 points with four clubs. Now he finds himself in a new situation.

Kobasew is on a pro tryout with the Penguins. No glitz. No glamor. No guarantee he will earn a contract and a roster spot.

"This is my 12th camp" Kobasew said. "It's not like it was in the first camp but it feels like it. There are similarities for sure because I'm on a tryout. I feel like a kid again just trying to go out there and do my thing and do what I can to try to make an impression."

Kobasew a 6-foot 192-pound right winger is one of several forwards -- from raw prospects to seasoned minor leaguers to returning NHL veterans -- trying to latch on to one of a couple of openings on the Penguins' bottom two lines.

In a year when the NHL salary cap dropped leaving many free agents scrambling to find new teams and several accepting pro tryout contracts around the league Kobasew seems relieved to have found an opportunity.
"I think you treat every camp as a tryout" he said. "It's a business. Nothing's given. Obviously it's a little bit different if you have a contract but you work as hard as you can. Guys are playing for spots in the lineup and different combinations.