Courtesy of Point Park University

The 2019-20 prospectus: Marcus Pettersson


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This is the 18th 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: 23
Size: 6 foot 3, 177 pounds
Position: Defenseman
Acquired: Trade with Anaheim, 2018.
Salary-cap hit: Not yet signed for 2019-20
2018-19 NHL stats: Two goals, 23 assists in 84 games (Two goals, 17 assists in 57 games with the Penguins)

How he fits: Pettersson probably will get a chance to claim a spot opposite Justin Schultz on the No. 2 defense pairing, but also could start the season partnering with Erik Gudbranson on the third pairing.

Shortcomings: Although he's willing to play the body, Pettersson likely would benefit from adding a little more muscle. With just 106 NHL games to his credit, his game remains a work-in-progress, which explains why his performance was relatively flat at times last season.

Strengths: Pettersson consistently makes a good first pass, which is key to triggering an effective transition game. He is solid, if unspectacular, at both ends of the ice and showed more of an offensive dimension to his game than most anticipated when he was acquired from the Ducks.

Hidden variable: The big issue, at least for the moment, is whether Pettersson will have a contract before the Penguins open training camp Sept. 13. Both sides seem confident that a deal will get done, but arriving late to camp -- or joining the team even later than that -- could cause some complications for Pettersson as he tries to earn an enhanced role.

2019-20 expectations: Pettersson's game has invited some comparisons to that of Brian Dumoulin, so counting on him for reliable two-way play, regardless of the pairing on which he is used, is reasonable.

The big questions: Is Pettersson ready for a promotion to the second pairing and, if so, how will he hold up under a more demanding workload?

All profiles to date can be found here.

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