The Pittsburgh Penguins played their first preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Sunday, and new forward Chuck Kobasew’s performance definitely boosted his shot of making the team.
Playing on a line with Pens’ returnees Tanner Glass and Dustin Jeffrey, Kobasew potted two goals, one of which was a late game-tying tally. Although they weren’t flashy, he still was able to muster two in.
Kobasew, 31, was signed to a professional tryout contract this offseason after spending last season with the Colorado Avalanche, where he scored nine points (5G, 4A) in 37 games.
Standing at 6-foot and weighing in at 192-pounds, Kobasew is a hard-nosed grinder that’s not going to overpower you offensively, but he’s going to be persistent in keeping a balanced forecheck.
While Kobasew’s two goals won’t guarantee him a spot on Pittsburgh’s roster, his experience and style of play could potentially give him a leg up on the competition. It doesn’t hurt that he’s played in the NHL for quite a while now.
Entering his 11th season in the NHL, Kobasew was originally selected in the first-round (14th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames. Aside from Calgary and Colorado, he’s played for the Boston Bruins and the Minnesota Wild as well.
Drafted quite high, Kobasew was probably once thought to be a major producer; however, because he’s only compiled 20 goals in a season three times, that hasn’t been the case. Still, he’s the type of player Pittsburgh needs, having lost players like Matt Cooke and Brenden Morrow this summer.
Despite his fantastic display Sunday night in Columbus, Kobasew’s going to have to play consistently well this whole preseason to assure himself a spot on the active roster. Barring any injury, the peculiarity towards the bottom-six could almost instantaneously lead to his induction.
And he would be a perfect candidate to skate on the fourth-line.
In 568 career regular-season contests, Kobasew has registered 208 points (108G, 100A).