November 4, 2011

Kris Letang, He's a Kick in the Glass

Every team in the NHL should have that one defender that you can rely on in all situations. The Pittsburgh Penguins drafted one such defenseman in the 2005 entry draft.

Kris is a Canadian born player, raised in Montreal, Quebec. He played in the Junior Quebec league, in QMJHL and the World Junior games, winning back to back gold medals for Canada. He also won quite a few awards in Juniors, best defenseman, best defensive defenseman and the best personality, all in 2007.

Letang was drafted in the 3rd round 62nd overall, this was the same draft that the penguins won the lottery and took Sidney Crosby 1st overall. Being a rare right handed defenseman was just what the Penguins needed to finish their rebuild and help the new core of players.

Letang played his first game in 2006-2007 leagues and only played 7 games before being sent back to juniors and then the AHL. Pittsburgh was a bit patient with Kris before giving him a full season, this was to let him mature and blossom into the all around defenseman he is today. Yet they did recall him when needed and when he just made a mockery of the AHL with his play.

Over time the Penguins gradually moved him up the line up and was given more and more responsibilities…especially with Ryan Whitney being traded and Gonchar leaving, this made way for Letang to be the blue line quarterback. In his 2nd full season he helped lead the way for Pittsburgh to win the Stanley Cup.

This young defender can play 33 minutes a night and look like he can play another 33… on average he can play upwards of 25 minutes a night, depending on his opponents. This iron man can play in all situations, literally, and the Penguins do use him every where; from playing shut down to being the break out player for an offensive spark on 5 on 5, he is the Pens quarterback for the power play and their shorthanded unit first line. Lets not forget he can even score in the shoot out and is usually part of the first 3 to shoot for Pittsburgh.

Letang is one of those players that can make his forwards better, and playing half the year without Malkin and Crosby, we were able to see what kind of defenseman he has become, by helping lead his team into the second round Now with Malkin back and Crosby returning this season there is so much potential for this 24 year old to have a huge offensive year. My prediction for Kris and his long locks: 60 points and staying over +10 all year.

Kris Letang is a big part of the Penguins Core of Malkin, Crosby, Staal, and Marc Andre Fleury, and all being 26 years old or younger, the fans will have team to cheer every night for a long time!

Justin Stefani

1 comment:

  1. What a good article Justin! You did a great job with this article about Kris' career and current info. I enjoyed reading this and I am sure his fans did too. I added this to my fansite for Kris at :D !