CAR's Zach Boychuk has been claimed off waivers by PIT.
The first thing that jumps out is Boychuk is just 23 years old, drafted 14th overall in 2008. He played NHL games as soon as the 2008-09 season, and 73 total in his career for 18 points (7g, 11a).
Interestingly, he only played one game for Carolina this year before they sent him back down and exposed him to waivers. Seems like a curious and risky move for them.
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.
Prospect guru Corey Pronman tweeted: "Boychuk is a very skilled player who is a great skater. A gifted forward who has had issues with consistency and pro level physical play." There's definitely a reason that Boychuk hasn't hit it big yet, and obviously Carolina was willing to give up on him, but Pittsburgh has a lack of skill so the addition ought to be welcomed.
Cory from Canes Country had the following to say about Boychuk:
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.
Note: he's on Twitter — @ZachBoychuk — but rarely, if ever tweets.
Will this be a Marty Straka or Robert Lang type waiver pickup or a Chris Bourque one? Too early to tell at this point, but for now at least it's a low risk attempt to bring in a skilled player with a good pedigree.