Penguins: Introducing Zach Boychuk
On Thursday, Ray Shero and the Pittsburgh Penguins claimed Zach Boychuk off of waivers. Boychuck was drafted 14th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He has 7 goals and 11 assists in 73 games played. It was a bit of a surprise that Shero would take a shot like this, but it is one that could work out for the Penguins in the long run. Zach is set to make his Penguins debut on Saturday against the New Jersey Devils, although it is still unsure in what capacity he will be used on the team. Bylsma stated that he may see time with Malkin and Neal on the second line.
Acquiring Boychuk was an interesting move by Shero, there is almost no way this could be a bad move. By grabbing him off of waivers, the Penguins did not have to give anything up for him. If he pans out, then Shero may have addressed one of the biggest needs on the team and at only $625,000 (not pro-rated) for the season. He does become a RFA next season and if he can make an impact with this team, he should expect a decent raise. Having said that, if he doesn’t work out, they can put him back on waivers and allow another team to claim him or see if he can help the Baby Pens.
Personally I do not believe he will make a big enough impact on this team to stay, he is small at 5′ 9″ and in 73 games at the NHL level has only produced 18 points. Of course giving him playing time with Malkin or Crosby could help him mature and become the player a first round draft pick should be. But, do not get your hopes up that he is the answer everyone is looking for. The Pens problems are much deeper than needing a potential top-six winger.
After every questionable move by Ray Shero, I always have to remember these four words.
In Shero We Trust