The Penguins have formally announced their 23-man roster and taxi squad players for the 2021 season.
From the Penguins:
Pittsburgh’s current 22-man roster includes 12 forwards (Teddy Blueger, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Mark Jankowski, Sam Lafferty, Evgeni Malkin, Jared McCann, Evan Rodrigues, Bryan Rust, Colton Sceviour, Brandon Tanev and Jason Zucker), eight defensemen (Cody Ceci, Brian Dumoulin, Kris Letang, John Marino, Mike Matheson, Marcus Pettersson, Juuso Riikola and Chad Ruhwedel) and two goaltenders (Casey DeSmith and Tristan Jarry). Kasperi Kapanen will complete the team’s 23-man roster when he completes his COVID testing protocol.
The Penguins six-man taxi squad will include three forwards, one defenseman and two goaltenders:
F - Anthony Angello
F - Frederick Gaudreau
F - Drew O’Connor
D - Pierre-Olivier Joseph
G - Alex D’Orio
G - Maxime Lagace
The taxi squad can be a maximum of six players for the 2020-21 season. These players will practice in Pittsburgh separately from the 23-man roster and travel with the team in case an emergency recall is needed. Because they are stationed out of Pittsburgh, they will not need to quarantine before entering the lineup.
Forwards Josh Currie and Radim Zohorna as well as defensemen Kevin Czuczman and Cam Lee have been re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League (AHL). Forward Jordan Nolan has been removed from his PTO and will report to WBS. The AHL’s season is set to open on Feb. 5, 2021.
Forwards Nathan Legare (3rd round of 2019 NHL Draft) and Sam Poulin (1st round of 2019 NHL Draft) were both returned to their junior teams.
Zach Aston-Reese, Josh Maniscalco, Sam Miletic and Zach Trotman, who missed time during training camp, will be appropriately assigned on Tuesday when rosters are submitted to the NHL.
So, there we have it.
No real surprises here. There weren’t many position battles during training camp based on the foundation of this roster. There were a few “will he/won’t he” scenarios related to the likes of Jordan Nolan and Drew O’Connor, but O’Connor looks to have impressed enough coaches to be on the taxi squad at the very least.
Defenseman P.O. Joseph will be waiting in the wings for the time being, but he figures to make his NHL debut in the not-so-distant future.
As for projected lines, this may be what Mike Sullivan rolls out to begin the season:
Pens' workflow at their Monday practice (these are the same combos they used in Sunday's scrimmage):— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) January 11, 2021
You won’t have much longer to see these flightless birds in action. The Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers meet for Game 1 of the regular season this Wednesday, January 13. Puck drop is set for 5:30p ET.