Courtesy of Point Park University

The 2019-20 prospectus: Bryan Rust


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Bryan Rust. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

This is the 20th 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: 27
Size: 5 foot 11, 192 pounds
Position: Right wing
Acquired: Third-round draft choice, 2010
Salary-cap hit: $3.5 million, through 2021-22
2018-19 NHL stats: Eighteen goals, 17 assists in 72 games

How he fits: Rust is a reliable penalty-killer who has moved up and down the lineup throughout his career, and is a candidate to do that again during the coming season.

Shortcomings: The 18 goals he got last season were a career-high, evidence that he does not have an ideal scoring touch for a top-line winger. For better or worse, he tends to score goals in bunches. His size is pretty ordinary, which means the wear-and-tear of his tenacious forechecking could make him susceptible to injuries.

Strengths: Rust skates well and has a history of producing in clutch situations. His work ethic is beyond reproach, part of the reason he can be deployed in almost any situation that arises during a game.

Hidden variable: Rust's duties figure to be influenced, if not determined, by how and where newcomers like Dominik Kahun and Alex Galchenyuk settle in with the Penguins, since Rust has proven capable of handling diverse roles.

2019-20 expectations: There's every reason to believe Rust will be counted on to produce the same things during the coming season that he has during the past few: Responsible two-way play, tireless work, sound penalty-killing and a goals-scored total somewhere in the teens.

The big question: Management doesn't appear to be shopping Rust aggressively, but will he ultimately be traded to open some of the salary-cap space the Penguins need? There certainly should be a market for him if Jim Rutherford decides to go that route.

All profiles to date can be found here.


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