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Penguins Initiate Rookie P-O Joseph before NHL Debut



Pittsburgh Penguins P-O Joseph

The Pittsburgh Penguins gave rookie defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph the usual rookie lap before he makes his NHL debut against the New York Rangers.

Here’s the video of Joseph doing his lap, courtesy of the Penguins Twitter account:

Joseph was called up to the Pittsburgh Penguins from the taxi squad on Friday morning after practicing with the team on Thursday. He’ll be taking the place of Juuso Riikola, who was injured against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Head coach Mike Sullivan announced Riikola would be out “longer-term” after practice on Thursday.

He’ll be on a pair with Chad Ruhwedel on the third pairing, while Cody Ceci will be with John Marino. Joseph spent last season with Wilkes-Barre in the AHL and had three goals and 17 points in 52 games. He was also the main piece of the Phil Kessel trade in 2019, while the team also got Alex Galchenyuk in return.

Before playing in Wilkes-Barre, Joseph played for the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL for a few seasons. His best season with them came during the 2017-18 season, where he had 13 goals and 46 points in 63 games.

The Penguins will also be without defenseman Marcus Pettersson for Friday night’s game as he’s week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Mike Matheson will continue to be out with a longer-term injury, so this will likely be the first of many games that Joseph will play for the Penguins this season.