New Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson has plan to make good first impression
Defenseman Marcus Pettersson has a two-pronged plan for his first few days in a Pittsburgh Penguins uniform.
Work hard. Ask lots of questions.
“I feel like that’s how you make a good impression,” he said.
It was unclear after morning skate whether Pettersson would get a chance to make his first impression in game action Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche. Coach Mike Sullivan said Pettersson would be available, but none of the incumbent six defensemen stayed on the ice at the end of the skate like scratches normally do.
Whenever the debut happens, it will be something Pettersson is looking forward to.
“It’s a fast-paced team,” he said. “They want to play with the puck, and I feel like that’s a strength of my game, for sure.”
Pettersson, 22, was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in a trade for winger Daniel Sprong on Monday afternoon. He said the deal took him by surprise.
“It’s a big shock,” Pettersson said. “Anaheim gave me the chance to be an NHL player. They drafted me and really gave me a chance. But then once I found out it was Pittsburgh, I was really excited, you know?”
For the Penguins, stuck in a mediocre start to the season, two recent Stanley Cup championships might feel like a distant memory. It’s different for a newcomer like Pettersson.
“It’s a big opportunity for me,” he said. “A big stage.”
Pettersson earned his opportunity as a young player in Anaheim by using his 6-foot-3 frame to play a steady game in the defensive zone. He said there’s an offensive component to his game, too.
“I play with a lot of pride in my D-zone. I think I can contribute offensively as well,” Pettersson said. “I’d say I’m a two-way guy. I like to use my stick. I’ve got a long reach.”
Casey DeSmith, meanwhile, is scheduled to start in net against the Avalanche. Kris Letang, who missed Monday’s practice for maintenance, was back on the ice Tuesday for morning skate.
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.