In 10 games with the Penguins
this season, Dustin Jeffrey
had one assist and nine shots. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
By Michael Blinn
Dustin Jeffrey was a bit of an everything man and a nothing man for the Pittsburgh Penguins, playing anywhere from the top line to the fourth, even spending nights in the press box as the team treated him as a plug-and-play accessory.
At times, he was dynamic, and others, invisible. In 100 career games with the Pens, the former sixth-round pick collected 15 goals and 28 points, including a 0-1-1 line in 10 contests this season. With Pittsburgh having a dearth of young, talented forwards, something had to give, and it was Jeffrey, who was placed on waivers this week, and claimed Sunday morning by the Dallas Stars.
With the move to Dallas, Jeffrey finds himself on another young, talented team with much less of media scrutiny, and a coach with a history of getting a lot out of players in Lindy Ruff. The 25-year-old forward will be the latest in a new crop of players to join the Stars, including a renewed Tyler Seguin, budding power forward Jamie Benn and rookie forwards Valeri Nichuskin, Antoine Roussel, and Alex Chiasson.
Scouting reports describe the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder as a gritty, hard-working forward who scores at every level, and his history has led some to suggest that he could be a solid contributor in the NHL game:
The addition of Jeffrey could be a boon to a team that ranks in the League's top 10 in goals-per-game (2.79), but in the bottom third defensively (2.84 GAPG). Having skated with players such as Sidney Crosby
and Evgeni Malkin
, Dallas has to hope the left winger can also impart some lessons into the team's woeful power play, which is currently clicking at just 11.9%, and help them climb up the Central Division and going a tightly-compacted top four of Chicago, St. Louis, Colorado, and Minnesota.