Kraken Expansion Draft - Pittsburgh Penguins
Hey everyone and happy Friday. Apologies for the delay, a hectic work week kept me on the road and like many of you I'm looking forward to the weekend.
Joining me today is a Penguins fan who has graciously provided me with their list on who they believe will be protected.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS PROTECTION LIST
Sidney Crosby (NMC) - C
Evgeni Malkin (NMC) - C
Jake Guenztel - LW
Kasperi Kapenen - RW
Jared McCann - LW
Jason Zucker - LW
Bryan Rust - RW
Kris Letang (NMC) - RD
Michael Matheson - LD
Marcus Pettersson - LD
There are lots of NMCs on the Penguins with Crosby, Malkin, and Letang all obviously being protected. The forwards to protect were all pretty automatic for me but a couple names like Lafferty and Bluger could come on big this year.
Some people might not like Michael Mattheson trade but after giving up Hornqvist I doubt our GM is going to want to move on from him so quickly. Brian Dumoulin will end up meeting the requirements to be exposted and I'll keep the younger Pettersson.
Thanks for the list!
Here are the notable omissions that I would consider pursuing.
Brandon Tanev - The 28 year old has only played a couple full seasons through his NHL career with 76 points in 263 games. For better or worse he is locked up for 5 years at 3.5 million per season.
Zach Aston-Reese - Listed as a centre but played far more wing for the Penguins. Hasn't put up much offensively yet but is only 26 years old and an RFA after this season.
Sam Lafferty - The 25 year old only has one year of NHL experience with 13 points in 50 games, mostly relegated to a bottom six role. Has the speed to play up and will be interesting to see if he gets some gravy minutes with Malkin or Crosby for an extended stretch.
Teddy Blueger - 22 points in 69 games averaging less than 16 minutes a night isn't bad at all. His 45% faceoff numbers on over 800 faceoffs isn't fantastic however.
Brian Dumoulin - The 6'4 207lb shutdown defender eats big minutes for the Pens, usually paired with Kris Letang. Still in his prime, the 29 year old has another 3 years left on his contract.
Pittsburgh has a few interesting younger options who have room to improve but I am selecting the one who can play centre and has shown the most offensive upside thus far. Blueger plays a solid two way game, making him likely more ideal in a bottom six role than a top six player and he never shys away from the more physical aspects of the game.
His faceoff numbers aren't ideal and I wonder if he might be able to produce more on the wing, letting someone else on his line take more rounds in the dot. He showed through the AHL he can put up some solid numbers and I would not be surprised to see him have a few 40 point seasons in the NHL.
Tierney - Strome-Kunin
x - Fleury