For the past three seasons, Pittsburgh Penguins‘ forward Dustin Jeffrey has been trying to make a spot in the Penguins lineup a permanent home. His patience could be on its way to paying off, as after two games, Jeffrey looks like he will get to put that versatility to use.
Jeffrey has the rare ability to adapt to almost any situation given to him by the coaching staff. With the ability to play any of the forward spots, the skill set to play on the second power-play unit or be a mainstay on the penalty, Jeffrey is a coaches dream for a bottom six player.
In the season opener, Jeffrey was the team’s fourth line center playing over 12-minutes with over a minute of power play time. The Penguins only had one power play that game, so Jeffrey played over half of the team’s overall power play time.
With James Neal out of the lineup for their win against the Buffalo Sabres, Jeffrey was asked to move up the depth chart and shift position, going from the fourth line center to being the winger on Brandon Sutter’s third line. Jeffrey responded by showing some good chemistry with Sutter and Chuck Kobasew. He was also asked to take again a different role on special teams. In the opener, he was only on the ice for 18 seconds of shorthanded time. Against the Sabres, he got over a minute.
With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin holding down the top two lines, the Penguins know they are set with their scoring lines. So if a player like Jeffrey could step up and provide some solid role playing depth, that will go a long ways in helping the team over the whole season.