The Pittsburgh Penguins may have another young winger ready to make an impact for them down the stretch. Today they called up Josh Archibald from the AHL prior to their game against the Calgary Flames tonight. The Penguins are on a five game winning streak and just a point behind the Metropolitan-leading Washington Capitals for first place in the entire NHL.
Archibald is a 24-year old winger who was selected in the sixth round of the 2011 draft. After completing—and dominating in—three seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Archibald has steadily climbed through the ranks of the Penguins’ minor league system. Earlier this year he played two games for Pittsburgh, scoring two goals in a February 11th overtime loss against Arizona. Amazingly, he has scored on each of the only two shots he’s taken during his three game NHL career.
As Pittsburgh has shown over the years with the emergence of Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary, the team isn’t afraid to put young players into key roles during a playoff stretch. After seasoning them at the AHL level, they can find ways to let them impact the game without exposing their inexperience. While Archibald isn’t guaranteed to play that role for the Penguins this season, his ability to penalty kill and play a solid defensive game may lend itself to some fourth-line minutes down the stretch and into the postseason.