Pittsburgh Penguins by the numbers: Nick Bjugstad

Nick Bjugstad #27 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Nick Bjugstad #27 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been riddled with injuries all season. This forward, however, has been at the forefront of many injury conversations since the beginning of this campaign.

I doubt that Nick Bjugstad ever imagined that when he got moved to the Pittsburgh Penguins in early 2019 that he would have almost daily battles with injuries. Either way, when he has been on the ice for Pittsburgh, he’s been a pleasure to watch, adding a balance to the Pens.

The Penguins only right-handed center has only played in 13 games all season, shocking in comparison to the 60+ games he typically averages each season. During his on and off stretch, Bjugstad stayed fair to the goals/assists column, scoring once and assisting once. He showed times of dominance and was a bright 3rd line center, making life easier on Geno’s line.

The big highlight of his year came his first night back after an early core injury. The Penguins won on the road 4-2 against the Sabres. Bjugstad played hard as always and crashed the net resulting in an overall team goal in the road win. Unfortunately for him and the Penguins, he will not be playing in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Pittsburgh Penguins by the numbers: Nick Bjugstad

ESPN reported that he would be missing in action for the remainder of the year after going through a successful spinal surgery to fix a herniated disk. This step back was his second surgery this year, and even though he showed grit by playing through the first one, this time off will be needed for future endeavors.

Speaking of future endeavors, which is up in the air, he still has a contract with the Penguins until the end of the 2020/21 campaign. But that being said, many clubs out there would love a forward of his size commanding a lower line. With the Penguins having some real promise coming up the pipeline, this offseason may see a few options come in the form of a Bjugstad trade.

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With the future salary cup woes incoming for the Pens, offloading him to a new suitor might be the ticket. If they can find a way to keep him, however, and he can get healthy again, he has the potential and promises to make a career here. This season has just changed a few minds and opened a few doors.