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Welcome to Pittsburgh, John Ludvig; Pens' Roster Set

by J.T. Toth


Photo courtesy of NHL Trade Rumors.


The Pittsburgh Penguins have claimed defenseman John Ludvig off waivers from the Florida Panthers on Monday, and finalized their opening day, 22-man roster in the process.


Ludvig, 23, was a third-round pick of the Panthers in the 2019 NHL Draft. He turned pro in 2020 but suffered significant injuries in 2020 and 2021. He finally got to play last season with Florida’s AHL affiliate team, the Charlotte Checkers. In 54 games, he recorded 17 points and a +18 rating. During his final year of juniors, he had his best offensive output, scoring 62 points in 60 games while serving as captain for the Portland Winterhawks.


Ludvig is 6’1”, 205 lbs. and plays an old school defensive type of game. He takes care of his own end and is outstanding at blocking shots. He’s physical, not afraid to mix it up and Penguins fans should be happy to see a player that brings an edge to this team. While not the most skillful player, Ludvig does all the little things in his own end that most times go unnoticed.


The Panthers brass hoped that Ludvig would slide through waivers and get reassigned to Charlotte, but Kyle Dubas and the Penguins may have a steal with Ludvig. With two offensive defensemen on the roster in Kris Letang and Erik Karlsson, a defensively-minded defenseman like Ludvig may help balance out the team’s blue line.


This move brings competition for Ryan Shea, who was already slated to be the 7th defenseman on the roster. The Pens are now within $170K of the cap ceiling, which could make things tricky as the season moves forward.


The Penguins' opening night roster:


Forwards

#10- Drew O’Connor

#17- Bryan Rust

#19- Reilly Smith

#20- Lars Eller

#43- Jansen Harkins

#55- Noel Acciari

#59- Jake Guentzel

#67- Rickard Rackell

#71- Evgeni Malkin (A)

#77- Jeff Carter

#83- Matt Nieto

#87- Sidney Crosby ©


Defense

#2- Chad Ruhwedel

#5- Ryan Shea

#7- John Ludvig

#27- Ryan Graves

#28- Marcus Pettersson

#58- Kris Letang (A)

#65- Erik Karlsson

#73- P.O. Joseph


Goalies

#35- Tristan Jarry

#39- Alex Nedeljkovic

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