Pittsburgh Penguins: Pierre-Olivier Joseph embracing opportunities

Pittsburgh Penguins on-ice logo prior to a game. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins on-ice logo prior to a game. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

As the Pittsburgh Penguins get ready for the playoffs, Pierre-Olivier Joseph has a prime opportunity to make his name known; and he seems prepared for it.

The Pittsburgh Penguins top defensive prospect, Pierre-Olivier Joseph, has been in town for well over a week now. It’s not known yet if he will make the Pens playoff roster, but he certainly will have a chance; and a fine one at that. The now 21-year-old will be hoping to be a part of the 30-man training camp that will then dwindle into the 28-man playoff roster.

Joseph sat down with Taylor Haase of DKPittsburghSports.com last week to discuss this current possibility that he has upon him:

"“I feel like every day is a learning experience, the guys who are the Black Aces here who are older than us have been Black Aces in the past and have played in NHL games. It’s a lot of learning from them and being here as young people we can learn from them. It’s a big taking in of experience.”"

The idea that POJ will be an every night blueliner for the Penguins isn’t far fetched, but it still might be a long way off. His comments in the interview, not only feed excitement, they show his maturity at such a young age. Precisely what will be needed in the months and years to come.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Pierre-Olivier Joseph embracing opportunities

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This year was his first season in the AHL, playing for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and he did not disappoint. In 52 games, he helped the Baby Pens with 17 points (3 goals and 14 assists). After seven years of AAA, college, and CHL hockey, he finally got his due; up now, it is the biggest stage of all. Not only the National Hockey League but the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

POJ may be small in weight (161 lbs), but where he lacks in that, he makes up with his height as he is well over 6 feet 2 inches tall. To some, he is undervalued do that, but where he lacks size, he makes up for it with heart. That heart will be needed as he is competing for a final roster spot against some of the Penguins veteran defensive talent.

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The top-6 defenders are seemingly set and ready for action, but the number 7 and 8 spots are entirely up for grabs. The likes of Trottman and Ruhwedel will be the front runners, but the playoffs always bring a different animal out in some people. If Joseph can take this chance to perform, anything can happen. The question isn’t’ so much of if it will happen; it’s more based around when.