Pittsburgh Penguins “so far” Awards: The Michel Briere Rookie of the Year

John Marino #6 of the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
John Marino #6 of the Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

As the Pittsburgh Penguins and the rest of the NHL sit on pause, let’s start a new series and hand out some hardware to the Pens who have earned it so far, starting with the rookie of the year.

The Michel Brierre Rookie of the Year award goes to the Pittsburgh Penguins player judged merely as the best rookie. It is awarded in honor of Michel Briere, who had a fantastic lone season with the Pens from 1969 to 1970.

For the Penguins this season, only three names register in as a rookie; John Marino, Sam Lafferty, and Anthony Angello. Astonishingly enough, all three of these men were drafted in there respective drafts after the 4th round began making their journeys to the NHL a sentiment of hard work and dedication to the game.

As the picture above the title suggests, we decided to go ahead and pick John Marino as the winner for the Pens Labyrinth Rookie of the Year so far. It was a no brainer, and Marino took the league by storm this year and put his early stamp on the NHL.

His season couldn’t have gone any better as he did precisely what was asked and grew exactly as expected over the season. It the season is truly over, then he will finish with 26 points (6 goals and 20 assists) in 56 games. Although those are impressive numbers, his 20+ minutes per game as a rookie were what set him on top of this awards list.

Typically with defenders, especially rookie defenders, you will only see them playing in certain situations and never really put into the pressure cooker. However, with Marino, by the end of his rookie campaign, he is seen as a defender that can play in all three facets of the game without skipping a beat. Something rarely heard of from a rookie defenseman.

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The pressure will no doubt continue to pile on Marino for the rest of this season (if there is one) and onto next year as things will undoubtedly be changing a bit for the Penguins backline. But also with that continued pressure, there is really no doubt that he won’t be able to do it. Marino should and will be a long-standing name in the Pens organization and there next great defensive hero.