Courtesy of Point Park University

The 2019-20 prospectus: Patric Hornqvist


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Patric Hornqvist. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

This is the 10th installment in a series of profiles of members of the Penguins' major-league roster, as listed alphabetically on the team's website. There will be one each weekday until all players have been addressed.


Age: 32
Size: 5 foot 11, 189 pounds
Position: Right wing
Acquired: Trade with Nashville, 2014
Salary-cap hit: $5.3 million, through 2022-23
2018-19 NHL stats: Eighteen goals, 19 assists in 69 games

How he fits: That will be one of the big issues for Mike Sullivan and his staff during training camp, and possibly into the regular season. Hornqvist has moved up and down the lineup and, if he returns to his customary form, might well reclaim a place on the top two lines. If he's slotted into a bottom-six spot, Hornqvist's cap hit likely will become an issue.

Shortcomings: Hornqvist seems to be even more streaky than most goal-scorers, but the major concern with him is health-related. His willingness to operate in high-traffic areas -- often challenging bigger opponents -- has led to numerous injuries, including at least six concussions since he entered the NHL. He suffered the most recent of those in early January, and it marked a pivot point in his season. He had 15 goals in 34 games before that and three in 35 games after returning.

Strengths: While Hornqvist has a nice touch around the net, his greatest asset is his ultra-competitive nature. He is willing to endure any punishment to get a scoring chance, and approaches his work with a mindset that makes the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail seem like a feckless quitter.

Hidden variable: Hornqvist has been a fixture as the net-front presence on the No. 1 power play unit, but there's no guarantee he'll have that role in 2019-20. If he isn't deployed there, it doesn't bode well for his goal production, because 31 of the 68 he's scored during the past three seasons have come during a man-advantage.

2019-20 expectations: What the Penguins should count on getting from Hornqvist -- aside from an honest effort every time he goes over the boards -- will be determined by the role he is given and how healthy he's able to stay. He provides a dimension few of his teammates can, however, so his effectiveness shapes up as one of the team's key variables for the coming season.

The big question: Can Hornqvist rebound from a miserable second half of last season, or have 11 years of the physical abuse he's absorbed since entering the NHL taken a permanent toll on his game?

All profiles to date can be found here.

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