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Penguins need to be looking in all places for scoring depth

June 21, 2022, 9:16 AM ET [135 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
I had this blog ready to go for today, but apparently the Canucks decided to move in and snake this idea away over the weekend. Here’s the blog anyways


The Pittsburgh Penguins are in a situation where they need to be very clever about how they fill out the depth on their roster. This has been the case for a number of years and them not doing a terrific job on this front has eaten up valuable money. There are instances where they’ve hit on a low risk signing. Last year, it was Danton Heinen who was a great success. Heinen came in at 1.1M and set a career high in goals with 18. He was an example of a team having great success diving into the bargain bin. The issue is if a player like Heinen does really well they are usually on a one-year deal. They will be looking for more money and potentially leave the value range the team needs to be in because of the other contracts on their books. This is where the GM can run into trouble. It isn’t easy to hit a homerun like the Penguins did with Heinen. Now they’ll have to do it again.

Today, I will talk about an off the beating path option that I think is worth considering. This is a player who has yet to come over to North America and is undrafted. He has played in the KHL for past eight seasons. Last year in 45 games he had 20 goals and 53 points which is very good for that league. His name is Andrei Kuzmenko

When you put Kuzmenko’s 2021-22 stats into the NHLe calculator the results are excellent. 53 points in 45 games translates to an NHL 82 game season at 78 points. The KHL is one of the tougher leagues to find yourself a point per game player. This is why you have a favorable translation to NHL point totals.

It is no guarantee for success in the NHL. Penguins fans will remember Sergei Plotnikov not so fondly. His numbers weren’t as good as Kuzmenko’s, but he still severely underperformed his NHLe conversion.

Whether or not the Penguins are able to land Kuzmenko the fact remains he is the type of player/risk the Penguins to keep their eye on to fill out the depth scoring moving forward.

Thanks for reading!
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