A common question that Penguins fans ask themselves
is when general manager Ray Shero will find a winger who can complement
superstar center Sidney Crosby.
Shero remedied that situation briefly during the
2007-2008 National Hockey League when he acquired Marian Hossa from the Atlanta
However, Hossa, who was in the last year of his
contract, signed with Detroit during that summer, so Shero and the Penguins have
been searching for a winger ever since.
In the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the
Penguins selected feisty Kitchener Rangers winger Matia Marcantuoni.
Prior to his injury issues, Marcantuoni was
considered a potential first round selection.
Besides possessing one of the best names in his
draft class, Marcantuoni can play the game of hockey very well.
What scouts love about Marcantuoni are his feisty
on-ice personality and his blazing speed. Moreover, his energy level is another
aspect of his game that scouts love.
Marcantuoni never takes a shift off and brings an enormous
energy with every stride. Furthermore, the physicality he brings to Kitchener
is another reason why he is an intriguing prospect.
An additional facet of Marcantuoni's game that may
translate to him being a scoring threat for Pittsburgh is his ability to
possess and protect the puck.
However, Marcantuoni has been plagued with injuries,
which raises questions about his durability.
He missed huge portions of the 2010-11 and 2011-12
seasons. Therefore, he must prove to the Penguins that he can be a durable
forward in the NHL.
Marcantuoni is in his third full season in the
Ontario Hockey League and it is his third season with Kitchener.
He has not gotten off to a tremendous start this
As of now, Marcantuoni has scored just two goals and
registered one assist, definitely not the start Kitchener and Matia wanted.
I believe Matia Marcantuoni can be that winger Shero
and the Penguins front office has been searching for. However, in order to be a
first line winger, Marcantuoni must remain healthy, and chip in more
In reality, Marcantuoni projects to be a bottom-six
agitator, who can chip in a few goals here and there. Nevertheless, do not be
surprised if you see him play on a line with Crosby at some point.
The next Prospect Preview will focus on Kelowna
Rockets defenseman and draft prospect Madison Bowey.