It’s easy to forget that Derick Brassard was not the only player acquired by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the three-team blockbuster that brought him over from the Ottawa Senators through the Vegas Golden Knights. The Penguins also added minor league forward Tobias Lindberg as compensation for sending an extra draft pick to Vegas. However, Lindberg remained with the Knights’ AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, for the remainder of the season and has yet to really be associated with the Penguins organization.
That is, until now. TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that the Penguins have signed Lindberg to a one-year, two-way extension worth the league minimum $650K at the NHL level. In terms of adding the affordable depth and upside that GM Jim Rutherford is looking for, this deal is right on track. Lindberg, 22, already has six NHL games and 164 AHL games under his belt in three pro seasons. A fourth-round pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2013 out of Djurgardens of the Swedish Hockey League, Lindberg has experience playing – and producing – at several different levels already.
His next challenge will be fighting for his place in the Penguins organizational pecking order when he joins the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins next season. It would be a stretch to assume that Linberg would earn a spot in Pittsburgh out of camp, especially with fellow youngsters like Daniel Sprong and Zach Aston-Reese having been promised increased roles next year, but Lindberg should be among the group of primary call-up candidates at the AHL level. Not only did Lindberg get a taste of the NHL with six games with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016-17, but he also has experience playing on both wings and playing both scoring and checking roles. That versatility is extremely valuable as a minor league depth option. Rutherford has been honest that some of the Penguins’ restricted free agents may not be re-signed this off-season, so Lindberg’s speedy extension would seem to indicate that the team envisions a role for him moving forward.