Let’s open up the Mailbag and get to your questions with some answers.
Best Pens Defenseman? Any younger D making an impression? -Rob
The answer is Jon Lizotte to both questions. In the larger sample size, he’s far and away the best Penguins defenseman when it comes to overall goals for and at even strength. I think in the long run Zach Trotman may give him a run for his money, but the answer, right now, is Jon Lizotte.
Honorable mentions to Nicolas Almari and Michael Kim. Almari moreso than Kim. Almari I feel is more polished because he played overseas and more NHL ready right now if you needed a recall.
If Stefan Noesen continues to play well do you think the penguins or another NHL team offers him a NHL contract. – Jim
Pittsburgh no, other NHL teams, possibly. I think Noesen likes it here and him leading the team and AHL in goals scored shows this. Guys that drop out of the NHL can go back to the AHL where they played 10-15 years ago and pout and go through the motions. Not Noesen. You’re not coming here and in a month start tearing the AHL to shreds if you don’t like it here.
Is Noesen playing in the NHL again this season? No, I don’t think so. An NHL team would have to be desperate enough to be out of options with their own AHL affiliate to offer Noesen a lucrative contract and at best he’s a fill in.
If you had to answer right now, Do you think Jake Lucchini will make the NHL for the Penguins? – Matt
He’s got to button up his own end defensively, 37.5% overall GF%, 42.11% at even strength, but yes I think he’s on the right track and his NHL debut for Pittsburgh shouldn’t be too far off.
Thanks for the questions. Gameday setup for tonight’s game vs. Hershey will be up at 3. I have to remember to not run a mailbag feature when there are Wednesday games.