The Pittsburgh Penguins activated center Nick Bjugstad and winger Bryan Rust before their Saturday game against the Dallas Stars. Rust has not yet played in the regular season and Bjugstad was injured in the second game of the season.
The Penguins also activated defenseman Zach Trotman, who was on a conditioning assignment with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and assigned him to the WBS Penguins.
With the roster spaces from assigning Trotman to WBS and the Erik Gudbranson trade Friday, the Penguins switched the statuses of Sam Lafferty, Adam Johnson and Joe Blandisi from emergency recalls to regular recalls.
Lafferty has five points (3g, 2a) in nine games this season. Blandisi and Johnson each have two points (1g, 1a) in seven games.
The Penguins have missed as many as five regular forwards for a couple of games this season. Evgeni Malkin and Alex Galchenyuk are the remaining players on IR.
Last season, Bjugstad had 14 points (9g, 5a) in 34 games with the Penguins. The Penguins 6-foot-6 center is at least a week ahead of his initial return projections from a lower body injury. He is the Penguins third line center but will likely anchor the second line until Malkin returns in a few weeks.
Rust had 35 points (18g, 17a) in 72 games last season. He suffered an apparent hand injury in the final preseason game.
By making Lafferty, Blandisi and Johnson regular recalls, the Penguins are no longer required to send them to WBS when the NHL club has 12 healthy forwards. The move gives the Pittsburgh Penguins options and will create an interesting situation in which one or more could earn an NHL job and stick with the Penguins. Lafferty is good bet to stick around, regardless of additional roster changes.
From the Penguins press release:
Pittsburgh concludes its three-game road trip tonight in Dallas at 8:00 PM ET at the American Airlines Center. The Penguins return home to PPG Paints Arena on Oct. 29 when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:00 PM for the team’s annual ‘Halloween Theme Night.