Making an impact in every game he’s called upon, Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Jayson Megna deserves to have a permanent roster spot for the remainder of the season.
Megna, 23, has been bounced back-and-forth between the American Hockey League (AHL) and the NHL – but no matter where he performs, he always manages to produce.
In nine games so far with Pittsburgh, Megna has collected four points (2G, 2A) and skated to a plus-1 rating. Albeit he garnered some of those points courtesy of captain Sidney Crosby and center Evgeni Malkin, he did get a helper while playing on the fourth-line. So the fact that he’s been able to get on the scoresheet despite skating on the last pairing is exceptional.
Driving the net and creating scoring chances on a game-to-game basis, Megna contributes to the Pens’ in so many ways. A very flexible forward, Megna can be slotted anywhere in the lineup and will mesh almost instantaneously, which ultimately boosts his value as a player. Although I feel he’d best help serve the team on the third-line, as I said, pairing him with anybody isn’t an issue.
For a team who’s struggling to maintain consistency within their secondary scoring, I find it hard to fathom that they’d demote Megna again. Putting up solid numbers through his first six games with Pittsburgh, it was rather shocking to see him sent back to WBS on Nov. 14.
Understandably, forwards’ Beau Bennett, Tanner Glass, and Chuck Kobasew will return at some point this season, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to suit-up Megna. Well if you keep Megna, how will the lines’ look? Bennett will resume his role on the top-line most likely, and Glass will be on the fourth-line with Joe Vitale and Craig Adams.
Jussi Jokinen seems to play better with Malkin and James Neal – so the third-line, to me, should ultimately be forwards’ Pascal Dupuis, Megna, and Brandon Sutter. The amount of energy those three can put forth when combined together would almost be considered as infinite.
The trio sort of resembles the line of Matt Cooke, Jordan Staal, and Tyler Kennedy. Dupuis would be the experienced veteran Cooke was, Sutter’s the tall center like Staal, and Megna reminds me of the fiery, energetic, right-handed shot Kennedy brought.
When Megna was recalled for the second-time on Nov. 27, he was riding a five-game point streak (4G, 1A), and had tallied points in nine of 11 AHL games – indicating that moving up-and-down between the two leagues clearly doesn’t faze him. So if they did re-assign him back to WBS, he’s only going to continually be a vigorous catalyst.
And if that’s the case, what’s the point of sending him back to WBS? Please, keep the kid. He’s only going to improve as the season goes along.
He’s young, motivated, and branded an underdog – what’s not to like?