Fantasy Impact: The Pittsburgh Penguins took a chance on winger Zach Boychuk today, as he was waived by Carolina. Was it the right move to make? Read on to find out.
The Penguins Get:
A once highly touted prospect who has struggled to find his way in the NHL with Carolina. Boychuk had a standout WHL career and he also was very good for Canada internationally. He isn't big, but he plays a responsible and tenacious two-way game. Pittsburgh placed defenseman Matt Niskanen on the IR, which opened up a roster spot for Boychuk.
And it sounds like he is going to get a shot on a line with Malkin and Neal. One thing the Hurricanes never did this season was give Boychuk a top six spot. An argument could be made that he didn't deserve one, but I like what Pittsburgh is doing. If you are bringing in a top-six or bust kind of guy, give him that opportunity before kicking him to the curb.
From www.PensBurgh.com (SBNation's Penguins blog):
With 32 points (16 goals, 16 assists) in 37 games so far this year in the AHL, Boychuk has shown a little bit of skill. He's not the biggest or strongest player but does have a little bit of skill. And for the Penguins, they could certainly use an upgrade and can afford to give just about anyone a chance right now to try and fit in with their forward corps.
More Boychuk analysis:
Boychuk never seemed to fully adjust to the rigors of the NHL game. He's fast and shifty, but he is too easily knocked off the puck. While he is a good passer and stickhandler, he didn't seem to improve much in any aspects of his game over the past five years — specifically defensively and in the weight room.
Still, Boychuk is a hard-working player who has a scoring touch and some moves. If he's paired with Evgeni Malkin, as has been suggested, he could find a place to succeed.
Fantasy Players Impacted:
At the end of the day Boychuk was outplayed by Zac Dalpe and Drayson Bowman. The writing was on the wall in Carolina. This move obviously helps Boychuk's short-term prospects tremendously. He could be a buzzsaw type of winger to retrieve loose pucks for Malkin and Neal. He has shown that he has finish too, but he hasn't displayed an ability to produce consistently at the NHL level.
If he is ever going to get that shot, this is it. He better make the most of it. As mentioned above he's having a great season in the AHL - 16 goals and 32 points in 37 games.
Back in 2008, Boychuk was drafted ahead of the following players: Erik Karlsson, Jake Gardiner, Michael Del Zotto, Tyler Ennis, and John Carlson.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. Eric Tangradi (his days are numbered in Pittsburgh - simply not a good enough skater)
2. Dustin Jeffrey