Pittsburgh Penguins: Who’s Primed to Break Out This Season?
With the NHL season less than a month away, it is never too early to talk about players who could potentially break out in 2019-2020. Jake Guentzel broke out for the Pittsburgh Penguins in a big way last season. Who could potentially have a breakout season for them this season?
The first player that comes to mind is Jared McCann. He is only 22 years old and McCann came over in a trade last season with the Florida Panthers. In 78 games played last season, he scored 19 goals and recorded 16 assists. His plus/minus was -1. Jared McCann will most likely be playing on the first line this season with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. McCann also played some first-line last season as well. He has a lot of upside and there is something that General Manager Jim Rutherford saw with him that fans didn’t when they traded for him.
The second player that comes to mind is Dominik Kahun. He is 24 years old. Kahun will either play on the second or third line this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired him in a trade this offseason from the Chicago Blackhawks. It sent defenseman Olli Maatta the other way. Dominik Kahun is very underrated and he could very well pop. Chicago fans were not happy when Kahun was traded to Pittsburgh. In 82 games played last season with the Blackhawks, he scored 13 goals and recorded 24 assists. His plus/minus was 10.
The third player that comes to mind is defenseman Juuso Riikola. He is 25 years old. Riikola has the potential to play in every game this season. He broke out in training camp and the preseason last year. Juuso Riikola played in 37 games last season. He scored two goals and recorded three assists. His plus/minus was 3. Riikola is a solid skater and two-way defenseman. He does have some upside on offense. Juuso Riikola would most likely be on the third pairing of the blue line and he could maybe work his way up to the second pairing on the blue line.
The fourth player that comes to mind is centerman Teddy Blueger. A lot of fans wanted to see him in more games last season. He will most likely appear in games for most of the 2019-2020 season because Blueger could very well be the third line centerman this season. He is 25 years old. In 28 games played season, Teddy Blueger scored six goals and recorded four assists. His plus/minus was 7. If there is any injury to Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, Blueger would probably be promoted to the second line centerman spot until they returned from injury.
The fifth player that comes to mind is forward Oula Palve. He was signed to a one-year deal and Palve is already 27 years old. I think the Pittsburgh Penguins expect him to potentially make the roster. I don’t think they brought him over to play in the minor leagues with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL. Oula Palve has some very good offensive instincts. It would be interesting to see where Head Coach Mike Sullivan would put him in the lineup if he makes the roster. Palve played in 53 games last season with the TPS Turku in the SM-Iiiga. He scored 16 goals and recorded 35 assists. His plus/minus was 5. In five postseason games, Oula Palve scored one goal and recorded three assists. His plus/minus was -3.
Who do you think will breakout for the Pittsburgh Penguins? Leave a comment below.
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