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Penguins claim Boychuk off waivers

Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 12:11 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Penguins claim Boychuk off waivers

The Pittsburgh Penguins have claimed forward Zach Boychuk off waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes.

The 23-year-old Boychuk was the 14th pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, but was never able to find a regular place in the Carolina lineup. He played in the Hurricanes' season opener and hadn't seen action again since.

In 73 games over parts of five seasons, Boychuk posted seven goals, 18 points and a minus-4 rating. He was a 20-goal scorer each of the past two seasons for Carolina's American Hockey League affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he expects to give Boychuk a chance to play on a line with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal.

"He's a guy who's a first-round pick," Bylsma said. "He's got speed to his game. He's got limited NHL experience, but he's going to add some competition in our lineup. He could see time on Malkin's line on that wing and see him in that position and adding speed and a little bit of grit to that line."

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That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4