The Penguins have, seemingly, been more active than usual this season when it comes to trades. While they haven’t been what you would consider blockbusters by any means, they have shaped the team in significant ways. The latest occurred Friday, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton essentially swapped forward Oula Palve for Texas Stars defenseman John Nyberg.
I don’t have much to say about Palve. He started the season with significant roles among the top six and power play, and they had dwindled to the point where he was a healthy scratch for three games. Something had to give; Palve may be an AHL rookie, but he’s about to turn 28 in February. He’s not a young prospect the organization is going to have the patience to work with and try to develop if he’s not producing. His plus-minus was third-worst of any player that has appeared in the AHL this season. Pittsburgh took a shot on him for this season, and it didn’t work. So, they might as well get something in return before cutting ties.
So, who is Nyberg? The 23-year-old Swede is a former sixth-round pick by Dallas. This is his second full season in North America and, according to his Elite Prospects profile, he plays physical and does have some offensive ability. He had six points in 19 games with Texas, reflective of that.
He apparently isn’t afraid to mix it up with opponents if need be, as he held his own in the fight posted above against Tucson’s Trevor Cheek.
The hope is Nyberg can be a big part of the Penguins penalty kill, and with Zach Trotman and Kevin Czuczman still out of the picture for their respective reasons, that’s a good thing.
In any case, the Penguins have nothing to lose. Maybe Nyberg turns into a diamond in the rough that can help them going forward. If not, he’s an extra body and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton isn’t really losing anything by trading Palve.
We’ll see if Nyberg gets to play again tonight in San Antonio.
Tyler Piccotti has covered the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for Times-Shamrock newspapers since 2017. In the Penguins Insider blog, he provides a look at NEPA’s only professional hockey team, sharing analysis and insights that go beyond the game sheet. A 2015 graduate of Syracuse University, he also has written for Bleacher Report, The Post-Standard and Lacrosse Magazine. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-821-2000; @CVPiccotti