Jordan Nolan looking to crack the Penguins lineup

The Pittsburgh Penguins have given veteran forward Jordan Nolan an opportunity to resurrect his NHL career.

Nolan, who hasn’t played an NHL game since the 2018-2019 season with the St. Louis Blues, signed in late December an AHL contract with the Penguins, in hopes that he can impress the big club in training camp and possibly crack the lineup.

“We like this player,” Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford said. “At any-time we can flip his American League deal to an NHL contract. He brings a dimension to his game that is important for teams.”

Last season, Nolan played with the American Hockey League’s San Antonio Rampage where he scored 11 goals and 27 points along with 52 penalty minutes in 60 games played. Previously, this 31-year-old 6’3” 235- pound grinder has played for the Los Angeles Kings, where he won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014, before playing the 2017-2018 campaign with the Buffalo Sabres. Nolan, who was originally drafted in the 2009 NHL Draft, seventh round, 186th overall by the Kings, got to lift the cup once again in 2019 with the St. Louis Blues. His longest stop was with the Kings where he played for six seasons. Overall, Nolan, who is a fourth line player, is an agitator who plays physical and frustrates his opponents. He has been criticized for taking careless penalties. The Penguins, who lack physicality, are looking at the possibility of Nolan playing his physical grinding style on the fourth line to fill in for injured Zach Aston-Reese who is still rehabbing from shoulder surgery and isn’t scheduled back until next month. Over his past 83 games, which came over a two year-span with Buffalo and St. Louis, this First Nations athlete had 83 penalty minutes and 155 hits. Currently the only Penguins who provide any sort of toughness are defenceman Brandon Tanev and another newly acquired addition in forward Kasperi Kapanen. Only time will tell whether Nolan gets a shot on the Penguins fourth line, or whether he gets sent down to the American Hockey League. Nolan, (Former Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders coach Ted Nolan’s son) has played in 375 NHL games where he has scored 24 goals, 52 points and 347 penalty minutes.

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