5 Players Pittsburgh Penguins Should Build Around in 2014-15

5 Players Pittsburgh Penguins Should Build Around in 2014-15

Pittsburgh Penguins Maatta Jokinen
Russell LaBounty - USA Today Sports

With big-name players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin already being built around, it's time to take a look at other players searching for their perfect linemates. Here are five players that could make this team even more dangerous if they are built around properly.

5. Beau Bennett

Beau Bennett Pittsburgh Penguins
Bruce Fedyck - USA Today Sports

5. Beau Bennett

Beau Bennett Sidney Crosby
Bruce Fedyck - USA Today Sports

Bennett was called up from Penguins’ affiliate in Wilkes-Barre Scranton in early 2013. His regular season performance earned him a spot in the lineup for the first game of the 2012-13 playoffs. He has posted a total of 27 points in 65 games. Bennett has been bounced around from line to line during his short career with the Penguins, but he if can find where he fits in best, he will be a smart player to build around.

4. Brandon Sutter

Brandon Sutter Pittsburgh Penguins
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

4. Brandon Sutter

Brandon Sutter Penguins
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

After the Carolina Hurricanes traded Sutter to acquire Pittsburgh fan-favorite, Jordan Staal, all eyes were on Sutter to see what he was going to bring to the ice for his new team. In Sutter’s two years with the Penguins, he has scored 31 goals and posted a total of 55 points. Sutter’s performance has only improved since he’s been with the Penguins and has become a crucial player to have on the ice during the playoffs.

3. Kris Letang

Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

3. Kris Letang

Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins Joe Vitale
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

This Norris Trophy Finalist has been one of the best defensemen for the Penguins over the past few years. When Letang is healthy, he always posts impressive numbers. He is gritty, fierce and an excellent goal scorer. Finding the perfect partner for Letang would make for an unstoppable pair.

2. Olli Maatta

Olli Maatta Penguins
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

2. Olli Maatta

Olli Maatta Pittsburgh Penguins
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

At the ripe-age of 19, this young defenseman is already worth locking down long-term. During Maatta’s first season as a Penguin, he gained more ice time than he normally would have due to multiple player injuries, but this extra ice time allowed him to showcase his talent. Maatta scored nine goals and posted a total of 34 points. Maatta also received his first Olympic medal in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

1. Matt Niskanen

Matt Niskanen Sidney Crosby
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

1. Matt Niskanen

Matt Niskanen Pittsburgh Penguins
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

Niskanen is one of the most sought-after unrestricted free agents this offseason, and it is no wonder why. He is a young, talented defenseman who only seems to be getting better with age. Niskanen would make a great player to build around on any team, but the hope is that he will want to stay with the Penguins and help them build a concrete defense -- something they have lacked these past few years.

Amanda Sklarek is a Pittsburgh Penguins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.

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  • Skip Carlsbaugh

    What rivalries? They will have no rivalries, just like last year. Because they are too soft to cause there to be “bad blood” between teams. They are pathetic and spineless. The gm is also an outspoken anti fight crusader. This is going to be a very boring season. And the results in the post season will be a carbon copy of the last 5.

  • Skip Carlsbaugh

    NO thanks to brittle beau Bennett. Letangs will probably be kept according to rumors, but he shouldn’t be. Hes a soft dman not “gritty” as the author comically stated, and a big mistake maker. His contract is absurd. Niskannen should go, gonna be too much $$ on a team up against the cap. I would agree with keeping Sutter and Maata.