This is the 19th 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: 29 Size: 5 foot 11, 191 pounds Position: Defenseman Acquired: Signed as free agent, 2016 Salary-cap hit: $700,000, through 2020-21 2018-19 NHL stats: One goal, one assist in 18 games
How he fits: Ruhwedel provides depth on the blue line. He doesn't figure to crack the top three pairings on a regular basis unless there is a major injury.
Shortcomings: He simply doesn't have the overall game to secure steady work on the Penguins' defense. Ruhwedel's relatively modest size works against him when he's trying to neutralize bigger forwards trying to operate around the Penguins' net.
Strengths: Ruhwedel skates and moves the puck pretty well, and he has been pretty solid when circumstances have opened a spot in the lineup for him. Being a right-handed shot is a plus.
Hidden variable: There aren't many, really. Ruhwedel has appeared in more than 34 games just once since breaking into the NHL with Buffalo during the 2012-13 season, so there's no track record of how his performance would be affected if he would be forced into the lineup for the bulk of a season.
2019-20 expectations: Ruhwedel's first three seasons with the Penguins have established him as a capable No. 7 defenseman, a guy who can be plugged into the lineup, if needed, without adversely affecting the entire defense corps.
The big question: Would the Penguins rely on Ruhwedel to help them get through an extended stretch if one of the top-six defensemen is injured, or would management opt to make a trade or recall a unproven prospect from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton?