(Image Source: EA Sports)
After winning back-to-back Stanley Cups, the Pittsburgh Penguins were brought back down to earth last summer, being defeated by the eventual champions and Sidney Crosby’s media-hyped nemesis, Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. This season, with Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby continuing their elite-level play, the Penguins are still in the battle for the postseason, despite a somewhat faded roster starting around the two legendary centers.
Sidney Crosby, Center, 93 OVR
Age: 31Role: PlaymakerHeight: 180cmWeight: 91kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: 95 Deking, Hand-Eye, Passing, Puck Control, Offensive Awareness, Poise
Sidney Crosby, and the Penguins as a whole, endured a rather poor start to the season, but something clicked within the superstar center, and he exploded back into his usual ways to carry the team back up the standings. He scored 89 points in 82 games last season and had notched 57 points through 45 games so far this season, continuing to be the player that makes Pittsburgh a playoff team. In NHL 19, he’s among the fastest players on the game and boasts an impeccable 95 rating in all puck skill attributes.
Kris Letang, Defenseman, 87 OVR
Age: 31Role: Two-WayHeight: 183cmWeight: 91kgShoots: RightBest Stats: 90 Stick Checking, Passing, Puck Control, Offensive Awareness, Poise, Slap Shot Power
For a long time, Kris Letang has been Pittsburgh’s only truly elite defenseman. While Justin Schultz has helped to carry some of the burden in recent years – but suffering a long term injury this season – Letang is very much relied upon as the team’s go-to defenseman in all situations. With 40 points and a +9 rating in 46 games, Letang is on track for the biggest points tally of his 13-year career. Given his 90 puck control, offensive awareness of 90, and lofty shooting power, Letang is a decent weapon on the blueline in NHL 19, but his lowly accuracy lets him down.
Matt Murray, Goaltender, 87 OVR
Age: 24Role: HybridHeight: 193cmWeight: 81kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: 90 Rebound Control, Vision. 89 Angles, Breakaway, Five Hole, Glove Low, Stick Low, Poke Check, Aggressiveness, Agility, Endurance, Speed
Since being given the starting role over Marc-Andre Fleury, Matt Murray has struggled to impress. Regular injury issues have hindered him, but the 24-year-old posted a .906 save percentage and 2.92 goals against average in 49 games last season, following up with a 2.86 GAA and .913 save percentage in 22 games this season – weaker than Casey DeSmith, who has been filling in this season. But with strong attributes across the board in NHL 19 and age on his side, Murray becomes one of the better goalies in the game.
From the Day 1, September 13 update, this is how the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first lines start. The first line doesn’t look like much, but Evgeni Malkin, Justin Schultz, Derick Brassard, and Phil Kessel lurk in the lines beneath. Creating linkups between Letang and Crosby is the way to score points here.
NHL 19 Pittsburgh Penguins Roster
Jake Guentzel (83) – Sidney Crosby (93) – Patric Hornqvist (84)Brian Dumoulin (81) – Kris Letang (87)Matt Murray (87)
|Name||Overall Rating||Position/Role||Height||Age||Shoots||Best Stats|
|Evgeni Malkin||91||Playmaker Center||191cm||32||Left||94 Hand-Eye, Passing, Puck Control, Offensive Awareness, Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Accuracy|
|Phil Kessel||89||Right Wing Sniper||183cm||30||Right||94 Hand-Eye, Wrist Shot Accuracy. 93 Deking, Passing, Puck Control, Offensive Awareness, Slap Shot Power|
|Patric Hornqvist||84||Right Wing Power Forward||180cm||31||Right||89 Hand-Eye, Aggressiveness. 88 Strength, Wrist Shot Accuracy, Slap Shot Power, Balance, Stick Checking|
|Derick Brassard||84||Two-Way Center||185cm||30||Left||88 Speed, Acceleration, Agility|
|Jake Guentzel||83||Center Sniper||180cm||23||Left||88 Deking, Hand-Eye, Acceleration, Speed, Agility, Wrist Shot Accuracy|
|Justin Schultz||83||Offensive Defenseman||188cm||28||Right||90 Discipline. 89 Passing, Puck Control, Acceleration, Agility, Speed, Slap Shot Power|
|Olli Maatta||82||Two-Way Defenseman||188cm||24||Left||88 Shot Blocking, Stick Checking. 87 Passing, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Endurance, Speed, Strength, Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Power|
|Bryan Rust||81||Two-Way Center||180cm||26||Right||90 Discipline. 87 Acceleration, Agility, Speed, Slap Shot Power|
|Brian Dumoulin||81||Defensive Defenseman||193cm||27||Left||87 Shot Blocking, Stick Checking, Balance, Slap Shot Power, Strength|
|Riley Sheahan||80||Two-Way Center||191cm||26||Left||90 Discipline. 89 Balance. 88 Strength|
|*Carl Hagelin||80||Two-Way Left Wing||180cm||30||Left||90 Acceleration, Speed. 87 Deking, Discipline, Agility|
|Jack Johnson||80||Two-Way Defenseman||185cm||31||Left||89 Slap Shot Power, Balance. 87 Wrist Shot Power, Strength, Body Checking|
|*Jamie Oleksiak||79||Defensive Defenseman||201cm||25||Left||84 Balance, Strength. 90 Body Checking|
|*Daniel Sprong||78||Right Wing Sniper||183cm||21||Right||88 Durability. 87 Deking, Discipline, Acceleration, agility, Speed, Slap Shot Power|
|Chad Ruhwedel||78||Two-Way Defenseman||180cm||28||Right||86 Slap Shot Power. 85 Shot Blocking, Discipline, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Endurance, Speed, Durability, Strength, Wrist Shot Power|
|Jimmy Hayes||78||Right Wing Power Forward||196cm||28||Right||90 Balance, Strength. 88 Body Checking|
|*Derek Grant||78||Two-Way Center||191cm||28||Left||85 Discipline, Balance, Speed, Strength, Durability, Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Power|
|Zach Aston-Reese||77||Two-Way Right Wing||183cm||24||Left||85 Acceleration, Balance, Agility, Speed, Body Checking, Strength, Durability, Aggressiveness, Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Power|
|Dominik Simon||75||Sniper Center||180cm||24||Left||87 Slap Shot Power, Acceleration, Agility, Speed|
|Casey DeSmith||74||Hybrid Goaltender||183cm||27||Left||84 Speed, Agility. 83 Recover|
*Carl Hagelin traded to the Los Angeles Kings on November 14.*Daniel Sprong traded to the Anaheim Ducks on December 3.*Derek Grant traded to the Anaheim Ducks on January 17.*Jamie Oleksiak traded to the Dallas Stars on January 28.
Tristan Jarry, Goaltender, 79 OVR
Age: 23Role: HybridHeight: 188cmWeight: 88kgShoots: LeftPotential: Starter med
Tristan Jarry has been given a taste of NHL life, but he’s not quite there just yet. It won’t be long before the highly-touted goaltending prospect starts to challenge for Murray’s crease, though. In NHL 19, if given the backup role out of the gate and blended in as a starter over the next couple of seasons, Jarry becomes a good starter, but with Murray there, he often ends up being a backup unless traded.
Years of success have left the Pittsburgh prospect pool looking rather sparse, but there’s still some hope for 18-year-olds Filip Hallander and Calen Addison.
NHL 19 Pittsburgh Penguins Top Prospects
|Calen Addison||52||Offensive Defenseman||175cm||18||Right||Top 4 low|
|Filip Hallander||60||Two-Way Center||183cm||18||Left||Top 6 med|
|Zachary Lauzon||58||Defensive Defenseman||183cm||19||Left||Top 6 med|
|Jordy Bellerive||59||Two-Way Center||178cm||19||Left||Bottom 6 med|
|Justin Almeida||60||Playmaker Center||175cm||19||Left||Top 9 med|
|Jan Drozg||60||Two-Way Left Wing||183cm||19||Right||AHL Top 6 high|
|Niclas Almari||58||Two-Way Defenseman||185cm||20||Left||Top 6 low|
|Sam Miletic||61||Two-Way Left Wing||185cm||21||Left||Top 9 med|
|Linus Olund||60||Two-Way Center||180cm||21||Left||Top 9 med|
|Alex D’Orio||57||Hybrid Goaltender||188cm||19||Right||AHL Starter high|