On Tuesday, the Penguins officially finalized their 23-man roster in advance of their regular season opener on Thursday without having to make any hard decisions...yet.
Training camp phenom Juuso Riikola earned a well fought for spot, taking advantage of an injured non-roster designation for goaltender Tristan Jarry. Other notables are right-winger Daniel Sprong, left-winger Dominik Simon, and center Derek Grant, who the Penguins acquired over the offseason.
The Penguins will suit up 13 forwards, eight defensemen, and two goalies heading into their home opener with the reigning champion Washington Capitals.
On Sunday, Pittsburgh opted to send forward Zach Aston-Reese, who had a less than impressive camp after returning from a broken jaw, and defenseman Zach Trotman down to the Wilkes-Barre/Penguins in the AHL, leaving Jarry’s status open-ended until now. The lower-body injury he sustained in the Penguins preseason finale against the Blue Jackets has effectively taken him out of contention. Jarry also hasn’t practiced since Friday, September 28. Once his health is regained, it’s likely he’ll also be sent down to Wilkes-Barre, as he neither had a better preseason than Casey DeSmith, nor would need clear waivers as he passes through.
That leaves Brian Dumoulin, who is still nursing an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day by Mike Sullivan. He is listed on the opening night roster as of now, but it’s unclear whether or not he’ll get the green light come puck drop.
The final roster is as follows:
Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Carl Hagelin, Derick Brassard, Simon, Bryan Rust, Matt Cullen, Riley Sheahan, Sprong, Grant
Kris Letang, Dumoulin, Olli Maatta, Jack Johnson, Jamie Oleksiak, Chad Ruhwedel, Justin Schultz, Riikola
Matt Murray, DeSmith