Neither Team Canada nor Team Russia has yet released their full hockey rosters for the Beijing Olympics, so we may yet add a few names to the list. PHN has compiled the list of former Pittsburgh Penguins and Penguins prospects who will go for the gold.
The NHL players had to pull out of the Olympics due to COVID fears and the COVID postponements which disrupted the NHL season, and the AHL did not release its players to go, either. So most squads are comprised of the best talent playing in Europe or the NCAA.
Because the Olympic rosters don’t have much NHL talent, there is great upset potential for smaller hockey countries like Slovakia, which has several former NHL players. Perhaps some announcer will scream, “veríš na zázraky? Áno!”
(Using Google Translate, that says, Do you believe in Miracles? Yes! in Slovak).
Former Pittsburgh Penguins in the Winter Olympics:
David Warsofsky, D, Team USA: Warsofsky, 31, played 19 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2015 to 2017. He played 12 games with one goal for the eventual Stanley Cup champion 2016 Penguins and seven more the following season. Warsofsky played 75 AHL games for the WBS Penguins over those two seasons before moving to the Colorado Avalanche organization.
He is playing in the DEL (Germany) this season.
Ken Agostino, F, Team USA: Agostino never put on a Penguins jersey at any level. The 2010 fifth-round pick (140th overall) from Yale was part of the Penguins package for Hall of Fame winger Jarome Iginla at the 2013 NHL trade deadline. Agostino made his NHL debut in 2013-14 and played eight games for the Calgary Flames.
Agostino, 29, has played 86 NHL games for six NHL teams (Calgary, Boston, St. Louis, Montreal, New Jersey, Toronto) with 30 points, including eight goals.
Agostino is playing for Nizhny Novgorod of the KHL. He has 40 points (20-20-40) in 46 games.
Hynek Zohorna & Tomas Zohorna, F, Team Czechia: Not former Pittsburgh Penguins or Penguins property, but they are brothers to 6-foot-6 Radim Zohorna, who is currently shuffling between the Penguins NHL roster and the Taxi Squad. Hynek is 31-year-old and “only” 6-foot-2. Tomas is 34 and 6-foot-1.
Both brothers are playing for Oskarshamn in the Swedish Elite League this season. Hynek spent the last two seasons with Khabarovsk of the KHL. Tomas played for Khabarovsk for six seasons.
Yannick Weber, D, Team Switzerland: Alas, Yannick Weber, we barely knew thee. Weber, 33, played in only two games for the Penguins last season but spent most of the NHL campaign isolated on the practice squad. Weber played in 499 NHL games for four teams, Montreal, Vancouver, Nashville, and the Penguins, with 94 points (28-66-94).
He is playing in the Swiss-A league this season.
Lukas Bengtsson, D, Team Sweden: Bengtsson had a turbulent two-year stay in the Penguins organization in 2016-17 and 2017-18. In his first season, he was probably misdiagnosed with Lyme disease. He played 16 games for the WBS Penguins with six points (1-5-6). He played in 27 games in 2017-18.
In March of 2017, he was diagnosed with Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which is like getting dizzy when standing up too fast, but it frequently happens when getting up lying to standing. He left the Penguins organization to return to Sweden.
The following season, Bengtsson resumed his career in the Swedish Elite League and the last three seasons in the KHL.
Daniel Winnick, F, Team Canada
Winnick didn’t play with the Penguins for long. He was part of the tumultuous 2014-15 Penguins, and an analytics darling. New GM Jim Rutherford acquired him from Toronto In 21 games for the Penguins he netted two goals and seven assists.
Sergei Plotnikov, F, Team Russia
The potential forward was also part of the 2015-16 Penguins. He was the “big get” from Russia but scored zero goals in 32 games. He scored only two assists before new head coach Mike Sullivan put him in the press box, and Rutherford eventually dealt him to Arizona.
Dominik Kahun, F, Team Germany
Kahun’s Penguins stay didn’t last a full season. The Penguins acquired him when they dumped Olli Maatta’s salary prior to the 2019-20 season. The poor man’s top-six winger had 27 points (10-17-27) in 50 games but never really found a home in the Penguins lineup. Kahun played three seasons in the NHL and for four teams (Chicago, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Edmonton).
The Penguins traded him to Buffalo at the 2020 NHL trade deadline for Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues.
Tom Kuhnhackl, F, Team Germany
Two-time Stanley Cup winner. Fourth line grinder who worked his way up from the ECHL to the AHL and NHL. He was part of the “Wilkes crew” in 2016 with Conor Sheary and Bryan Rust and helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup. He signed with the Islanders as a free agent in 2018 but played only parts of two seasons in New York. He’s currently playing in the Swedish Elite league.