PITTSBURGH - The fourth line for the Pittsburgh Penguins stood out against the Philadelphia Flyers by combining for seven points including a goal and an assist from Josh Archibald.
When the Penguins signed Archibald this past offseason, it wasn’t exactly certain if he would be on the NHL roster full time.
Archibald only played eight games in 2021-22 and didn’t seem to have traction as an NHL regular.
Penguins general manager Ron Hextall signed Archibald to a one-year contract worth $900,000 and the move confused fans.
Was is just a signing for the AHL? Or did the Penguins really think he could play full-time on the NHL roster?
Through the first quarter of the season, Archibald has only missed one game; safe to say he’s sticking on the roster.
Archibald has seemingly found a role this season with the Penguins, too, as a depth piece who brings energy, physicality, and a number of power play opportunities.
Through his 20 games, Archibald leads the Penguins in drawn penalties with 10; the power play is still trying to get in sync, but Archibald is giving them plenty of chances.
“His speed puts pressure on our opponents,” head coach Mike Sullivan said. “He tends to irritate people out there, it’s the nature of his personality.”
Archibald’s personality is surely going to get under opponent’s skin, it’s almost Brad Marchand-like; he’s 5-foot-10 and is always skating full speed ahead.
“He’s been a really important player for us,” Sullivan said. “He brings a ton of energy and his energy is contagious.”
Archibald is currently leading the team with 70 hits and shows no signs of slowing down, both on the hit counter and skating on the ice.
It wasn’t the most popular signing of the offseason, but Archibald has proven to be well worth the deal and the spot in the roster.
He may not score at mind blowing pace, but he plays his role well and does a lot of things right to help the Penguins win.
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