Courtesy of Point Park University

The 2019-20 prospectus: Brandon Tanev


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This is the 23rd installment in a series of profiles of members of the Penguins' major-league roster, as listed alphabetically on the team's website.


Age: 27
Size: 6 feet, 180 pounds
Position: Left/Right wing
Acquired: Signed as free agent, 2019
Salary-cap hit: $3.5 million, through 2024-25
2018-19 NHL stats: Fourteen goals, 15 assists in 80 games

How he fits: Although his high-energy style is precisely what the Penguins were hoping to add in free agency, his offensive limitations likely will keep him in a bottom-six role.

Shortcomings: Tanev wasn't much of an offensive threat in Winnipeg, putting up 51 points in 195 games. He plays bigger than he is, so injuries are a constant threat. (Tanev appeared in more than 61 games just once during his first three full seasons in the NHL.)

Strengths: He is as tenacious as a sled dog, going all-out on every shift and throwing his body around when the opportunity presents itself. Tanev plays a solid two-way game and is an accomplished penalty-killer, which should help to fill a void created by Matt Cullen's retirement.

Hidden variable: There really doesn't seem to be a major one with Tanev, aside from how many games he'll be healthy enough to play. There's every reason to believe that he will continue to be exactly what he has been to this point in his career.

2019-20 expectations: Look for Tanev to take on the same role he did with the Jets: A reliable contributor at both ends of the ice who will fit in on the bottom-six and penalty-kill, and will add a physical dimension to a group of forwards that, with a few exceptions, doesn't play the body much.

The big question: It might take a while to get the answer, but can Tanev win over the skeptics who feel Jim Rutherford erred by giving him a six-year contract?

All profiles to date can be found here.

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