Wyatt Kaiser & Alex Vlasic
Kaiser and Vlasic earned the right to be on their first NHL opening night roster. It also means these two young blue-liners have a leg up on fellow prospects Isaak Philips, Ethan Del Mastro, and Noah Allen to establish themselves as future pieces to win the franchise’s next Stanley Cup.
Kaiser needed to get stronger in the offseason and he did just that. He was +1 although he did commit a penalty in 15:06 minutes on the ice. Vlasic got the primary assist on the first goal of the night.
Vlasic also got the second most ice time among the defensemen. Both have a shot to develop into the No. 2 and No. 3 defensemen this organization needs to win another Stanley Cup down the road. That is why they need this season to grow into those roles.
Petr Mrazek stole the spotlight from Bedard’s debut when he made 38 of 40 saves. He was standing on his head and showed he owned the Penguins.
Soderblom will get the next start in goal. The 24-year-old goalie flashed his potential to be a No.1 goalie during a brief tenure last season with the Chicago Blackhawks. He has the ideal size to be a wall in goal.
He has been given the first chance to prove he can be the future top goalie over top goaltender prospect Drew Commesso.
Mrazek might have had a brilliant night, but it is a matter of when and not if he will be on short-term IR. That means Soderblom will be given an ample opportunity to showcase whether he deserves the top spot.