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Finding the Ideal Defense Partner for Penguins P.O. Joseph

Which Pittsburgh Penguins right defenseman should P.O. Joseph play with next season?

P.O. Joseph re-signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins on a two-year contract worth $825K per season. A few years into his young career, Joseph has played 20 games for the Penguins, collecting five points (1-4) between multiple stints with the big league club.

With the Penguins looking to find room under the NHL's salary cap, they are seemingly looking to trade a defenseman (or maybe two) before the start of next season. As a result, a slot could open for Joseph to potentially earn an everyday role on the Penguin's blue line.

While he has played on a pairing with Kris Letang in a few of his previous games, that is probably not the best place to start a young defenseman looking to get his feet underneath him at the NHL level.

Joseph is a mobile defenseman with a slight scoring touch that should translate to the top levels. In 136 games with the AHL's Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, Joseph has registered 63 points (14-49).

If the 23-year-old defenseman breaks camp with the team, he should likely start on the second or third defense pairing. John Marino is a potential fit for Joseph, as the duo's combined zone clearing abilities could create numerous transition opportunities.

Joseph could also pair with Chad Ruhwedel, a stay-at-home defenseman that would allow Joseph to take more chances when on the ice to create scoring opportunities. Regardless of who his partner is, Joseph should make an impact at the NHL level this season.

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