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Penguins Wrap: Why Bunting Is a Hit; New Role for Malkin?

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin

The Pittsburgh Penguins are in the early stages of what promises to be a long, and possibly eventful, offseason.

While management isn’t expected to make any major moves with players until closer to the NHL Draft, set for June 28-29 in Las Vegas, Penguins officials have gotten a chance to observe some of the organization’s top prospects perform for their farm team in Wilkes-Barre during the Calder Cup playoffs.

Here’s a look at what happened with the Penguins during the past seven days:

Saturday

Although Alex Nedeljkovic had a solid season with the Penguins, early indications are that they aren’t likely to re-sign him.

The Penguins sign Denver University center Tristan Broz, their second-round draft choice in 2021, to an entry-level contract.

Sunday

Michael Bunting gave the Penguins a boost after being acquired from Carolina in the Jake Guentzel trade.

Here’s why the Washington Capitals edged out the Penguins for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth.

Goalie Joel Blomqvist was named to the American Hockey League’s all-rookie team.

Monday

Evgeni Malkin’s age showed in his play for much of the past season.

Drew O’Connor’s continued development was one of the major positives for the Penguins during the 2023-24 season.

The Penguins assign a number of prospects, including defenseman Owen Pickering, to their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.

Penguins defenseman Erik Karlsson agrees to play for Sweden in the world championships in Czechia next month.

Tuesday

A handful of prospects join the Penguins’ farm team in Wilkes-Barre ahead of the Baby Penguin’ first-round playoff series. (+)

Kyle Dubas must make a number of personnel changes if the Penguins are to be better next season.

Although Marcus Pettersson is coming off a strong season, it’s fair to wonder about his future with the Penguins.

Wednesday

A pair of Penguins prospects earn mixed reviews for their performances in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s playoff opener. (+)

Kyle Dubas has had a mixed record on trades during his first season and president of hockey operations and GM of the Penguins.

Subscribers asked, he answered. A Penguins Q&A, (+)

Marcus Pettersson will play for Sweden in the world championships next month, but Rickard Rakell declines an offer to do so because of a shoulder injury sustained while playing for the Penguins.

Thursday

The Pittsburgh Penguins should consider moving Evgeni Malkin to the wing and adding a second-line center via free agency.

Rickard Rakell, who is coming off a 15-goal season, has a very clear objective for 2024-25.

Friday

Joel Blomqvist’s game shows some significant flaws during the Calder Cup playoffs. (+)

These are the guys who top the early-offseason list of Penguins trade candidates.

Here’s why the Pittsburgh Penguins should re-sign Alex Nedeljkovic and allowed Joel Blomqvist to continue developing.

The Penguins have a 1.5 percent chance of winning the NHL draft lottery, which would move them up to No. 4 in the draft order.

Penguins assistant Ty Hennes is named to Team USA’s coaching staff for the world championships.