Citing a team source, Jason Mackey of the Tribune-Review, reports the Penguins are considering changes to their post-season lineup.
Mackey writes, “Due to the dissatisfaction with the recent play of forwards Craig Adams and Beau Bennett, one or more younger players in the Penguins organization could be given an opportunity to produce come playoff time, a team source told Trib Total Media.
“Those potentially being given a chance include: Andrew Ebbett, who is with the team because of injuries to Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist; Kasperi Kapanen; Jayson Megna; Bryan Rust; Oskar Sundqvist; and Scott Wilson.”
Let’s evaluate the options mentioned in the report:
Andrew Ebbett – A career AHL journeyman who does little to improve the Penguins lineup but the coaches trust him.
Jayson Megna (19G-13A-32Pts), 32 points in 50 games, Megna is a player Penguin management has been pushing for to get another look but the coaching staff are not fans. Megna is what he is, a player who can provide speed but at the NHL level his lack of hockey sense to think the game at an NHL level has hindered his ability to stick and why he was an undrafted free agent.
Bryan Rust (13G-11A-24Pts), currently injured but among those that the Penguins coaching staff likes the best. Great speed, plays a north-south game, showed some flashes with Evgeni Malkin but like many young players, the longer he played in the NHL, the more he got exposed. Had 1 goal and 1 assist in 14 NHL games.
Kasperi Kapanen (11G-10A-21Pts), has 21 points in 41 games for Kalpa and after a strong start has worn down during the final couple months of the season with Kalpa, according to observers, including a disappointing performance in the World Championships.
East-West perimeter player, Kapanen has 5 points in his last 24 games. One opinion from Scouts outside the organization is Kapanen’s nowhere near ready for NHL action, let alone being thrown into the mix during the playoffs. The Penguins have planned to bring him to Wilkes Barre as soon as his season is over. Kalpa’s playoffs started yesterday.
Oskar Sundqvist (9G-10A-19Pts), had 19 points in 41 regular season games for Skelleftea AIK and 2 assists in four playoff games. Sundqvist a well rounded two-way player, turned a lot of heads in training camp. Very good size at 6-3, 215, Sundqvist is already burning a year of his entry level contract, despite not playing for the organization this season. However, extremely difficult to put a European player who has no experience with the North American game, right into the atmosphere of playing big boy playoff hockey.
Scott Wilson (14G-20A-34Pts), here’s a player where there’s significant intrigue from team officials. There’s even been interest from some of Wilson getting a look with Brandon Sutter and Daniel Winnik. A tenacious player with offensive ability, Team Officials love the combination and skill/grit he plays with and he plays bigger than he is. Could provide element you need in playoffs. Lots of intrigue with him but of course there’s some pause because he has no experience minus 4:00 minutes in NHL one game he got injured in.