After having picked up Bobby Butler yesterday from Carolina, today the Predators have claimed winger Zach Boychuk, who was put on waivers by Pittsburgh yesterday. Boychuk has already passed through this situation previously this season, as the Penguins grabbed him from Carolina back on January 31st.
Along with Brandon Yip being placed on Injured Reserve, this leaves Nashville with 22 players on the Active Roster, and two on IR (Yip & Hal Gill).
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Boychuk did lead the AHL in scoring a couple of years ago, but has only posted 18 points in 80 career NHL games. He's a bigger body, can protect the puck and has good vision, but those skills (to this point) have never translated to the upper level.
Is the risk worth the reward? In my mind, yes, simply because there's nothing but monetary risk in claiming Boychuk. If he doesn't work out in New York the Rangers can expose him to waivers and allow another NHL team to give him another shot.
What are your thoughts, Predators fans? Is this a kid with some untapped potential, or is Poile digging furiously in the NHL's bargain bin hoping to get lucky?
Here's the team's press release:
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club claimed forward Zach Boychuk on waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins and placed forward Brandon Yip on injured reserve. Boychuk is on a two-way contract worth $625,000 and the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level in 2012-13.
Boychuk, 23 (10/4/89), has been held scoreless in eight NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes in 2012-13. In 80 career NHL contests since 2008-09, the Airdrie, Alta., native has 18 points (7g-11a) in 80 career contests with Pittsburgh and Carolina. Boychuk started the 2012-13 season with Carolina's primary developmental affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, amassing 32 points (16g-16a) in 37 games.
Drafted by the Hurricanes in the first round (14th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Boychuk was a member of back-to-back Canadian World Junior Championship-winning teams in 2008 and 2009. He was teammates with current Predator forward Matt Halischuk on the 2008 team, and Preds defenseman Ryan Ellis on the 2009 team.