Scouts: Jeffrey NHL Ready
Dustin Jeffrey had a goal and assist and John Curry made 29 saves to earn his ninth shutout of his Penguins career, leading the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 3-0 win over the Albany Devils on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Jeffrey continues his strong play, leading Wilkes Barre with 7 goals, 13 assists and 20 points on the season.
Jeffrey has developed into an impact player in all facets of his game, playing a superb two-way game and is developing into a threat on the penalty kill, notching his 3rd shorthanded goal of the season tonight.
The question in Penguins circles for a few weeks now is how long can the Penguins keep Jeffrey down in Wilkes Barre?
He continues to prove his critics wrong and with so many players on one-year contracts, Jeffrey’s time with Pittsburgh will most likely come next season but should players on the bubble be worried about more than just Jordan Staal coming back?
Jeffrey is developing into the type of third line center the Penguins were seeking prior to the season, and scouts I’ve talked with, even those who had doubts about Jeffrey for sometime are starting to become believers and feel he has a strong chance to fill the third line void the Penguins are missing with Jordan Staal being moved up to a top-6 role when he returns.
Three players with pressure on them as Staal returns and the possibility of Jeffrey working his way onto the team, is Mike Comrie, Chris Conner and Mark Letestu.
Scenario’s around those three exist where Jeffrey could get an extended look at somepoint over the next couple months.
The Mike Comrie experiment is working out just as well as the Chris Bourque experiment which will make a roster decision easy for when Jordan Staal returns.
Head coach Dan Bylsma is high on Chris Conner but he faces long odds on winning a full-time spot. The odds in-fact are pretty slim on that front.
Mark Letestu has strong support from the staff but he still has a lot to prove and show he’s the right fit as the third line center.
When Eric Tangradi was re-assigned to Wilkes Barre 10 games into the season, many believed Tangradi would be back with the club later in the season in a full-time role. About 6 weeks late, those odds have dropped significantly and moved into the direction of Dustin Jeffrey being that player.
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