Penguins’ defenseman Zach Trotman gets chance to show he fits in
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Every time the Pittsburgh Penguins have suffered an injury on defense this season, general manager Jim Rutherford has said he’s pleased with his organization’s depth at the position.
And every time he’s talked about that depth, he’s mentioned Zach Trotman.
On Tuesday night, Trotman will get a chance to show why.
With Brian Dumoulin (concussion), Kris Letang (upper body) and Olli Maatta (shoulder) out of the lineup and newly acquired Erik Gudbranson held up in immigration, the Penguins had a hole on defense heading into a matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Trotman, called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Monday, will fill it.
Trotman is a sturdy, 6-foot-3, 219-pound right-handed shooter with 70 games of NHL experience. He played three games for the Penguins last season.
“Every chance you get to play an NHL game is an opportunity,” Trotman said. “You want to leave a good impression and help your teammates win and do your part. You’re always in the system. You may not necessarily be on the roster, but guys are here for this reason. Whether you step in for one game or 50 games, it’s your job and it’s why the team signed you.”
Trotman got the call ahead of other options in Wilkes-Barre – most notably AHL all-star Ethan Prow – because he checked the boxes coach Mike Sullivan was looking for as he filled his final roster spot on defense.
“Based on the guys that we have in the lineup, we thought he was the best fit as far as the strengths of his game,” Sullivan said. “He has good size. He’s strong down low. He can kill penalties. He’s a right-handed shot. Those were a lot of the reasons why we chose to utilize Zach. But most importantly, he’s played extremely well down there and he’s deserving.”
Matt Murray will start in goal for the Penguins, who have lost two in a row.
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review assistant sports editor. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .