Johnson back at full health
Right winger Nick Johnson (6ft2, 200lbs), is regarded by many NHL scouts as the Penguins most under-rated prospect. Johnson plays a strong two-way game and caught the eye of many members in the organization this past September, when Johnson pushed for a roster spot out of camp.
Johnson likely would have been one of the Penguins call-ups during the Penguins rash of injuries in October and November but Johnson suffered a high ankle sprain just 7 games into the season, which sidelined him for 7 weeks.
Johnson returned to the lineup Wednesday night, scoring 2 goals in Wilkes Barre's 6-0 rout of Syracuse. This is a big year for Johnson to prove that he is an NHL player. Johnson will turn 24 this month.
Stat Line: 8 GP - 3 goals - 1 assist - 4 pts
Penguins grooming Dustin Jeffrey to be a left winger?
Dustin Jeffrey does not have a future in Pittsburgh as a center. An AHL scout told me about a month ago that Jeffrey is viewed as being too finesse to be a productive 3rd or 4th line center in the NHL, especially with the Penguins.
Jeffrey leads Wilkes Barre/Scranton in scoring with 25 points including 21 assists but where he would fit in a NHL lineup is debatable among scouts.
One scenario that will be explored by the Penguins organization is grooming Jeffrey into a left winger. It's been discussed internally for months and Jeffrey played left wing last night for the first time this season, scoring a goal and an assist.
One major complaint from scouts about Jeffrey is that he holds onto the puck too long. Moving him to left wing could help correct that problem. It's a smart move by the organization to at least explore the possibility.
Stat Line: 22 GP - 4 goals - 21 assists - 25 pts
Penguins want more commitment from Eric Tangradi off-the-ice?