Pittsburgh Penguins: Bryan Rust Out for Thursday’s Game


Recently announced as the “Rookie of the Year” for the Pittsburgh Penguins, young forward Bryan Rust has been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Nashville Predators at home.

There was just one player missing from today’s practice who was anticipated to be there.

It was announced by Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan that Rust is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Although he is day-to-day, the Penguins have already determined that Rust will not be available to play on Thursday.

The 23 year-old winger has been strong for the Pens of late. In the month of March, Rust has 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) and is a plus-2 on-ice. The former third-round draft pick in 2010 has spent 41 games in total with Pittsburgh this season, while playing in 16 games with the “Baby Pens” at the AHL level with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. In those 16 games, Rust notched 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists).

Rust has been part of a valuable cohort of young players who have complemented the established veterans and have helped the Pens through some tough spots with injuries. The contributions of Rust and his young teammates have not gone un-noticed, by fans or management. Rust was recently rewarded for his efforts with a two-year contract extension. His extension begins in 2016-17 and carries an average-annual-value of $640,000.  

In addition to Rust being on the shelf, defenseman Brian Dumoulin was also out of action at practice today. The blueliner has missed the past two games and is also considered to be day-to-day.

On a positive front, Evgeni Malkin, who was shelved for 6-8 weeks going back to March 12, was seen on the ice today. It was noted that there is no change to the timeline for Malkin’s return, but being back on the ice is part of the recovery process for the big Russian forward. The Pens have been, somewhat surprisingly, very successful in Malkin’s absence. That is due in no small part to the contributions of Bryan Rust, Tom Kuhnhackl and Scott Wilson. The injury bug has also bitten Scott Wilson who required surgery after he was wounded.  

The Pens have continued to march along however, winning nine of their last ten games. The Pens depth has been a real asset for them, particularly towards the end of the regular season, with some of the “new” guys like Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel stepping up to the plate, along with the young guys. Getting the younger players some advance playing time earlier this season is now paying off well for the Pens as they position themselves for one of the final playoff spots in their division.