Penguins from A to Z: Nathan Legare has suffered escalating

With the 2021-22 season of the Penguins quickly concluding in the first round of the playoffs, the Tribune-Review will offer Penguins A-Z, a player-by-player look at all 54 people who have signed an NHL contract, including those whose deals won’t begin until the 2022-23 season – with the organization, from mid-tier prospect Niclas Almari to top six winger Jason Zucker.

Nathan Legare

Position: Right wing

Shoot: right

Age: 21

Height: 6 feet

Weight: 208 pounds

AHL Statistics 2021-22: 57 games, 16 points (seven goals, nine assists)

To contract: In the first year of an entry-level three-year contract with a salary cap it reached $ 789,167. Limited free agent waiting in the low season 2024.

Acquired: Choice of the third round (n.74 in total), 22 June 2019

Last season: There has been a lot of anticipation around Nathan Legare almost since the Penguins enlisted him three years ago.

In fact, they traded to get Legare as they believed he had talent equivalent to a first-round pick, so they signed him for his entry-level contract about three months later.

Having spent two prolific seasons at the junior level, Legare finally turned pro last season and the long-awaited results were disappointing.

Legare appeared in three preseason games last fall and was awarded to Wilkes-Barre / Scranton on October 8. Opening the American Hockey League season in the third row and in the Penguins’ maximum power-play unit, Legare didn’t score his first professional goal score until game seven. His score in extra time gave the Penguins a 4-3 away win against the Springfield Thunderbirds on 30 October.

The talented striker produced just one more goal before being a healthy scratch for a 3-2 away win against the Hershey Bears on 9 January.

Legare seemed to bounce a little from that scratch, scoring six points (three goals, three assists) in the next 10 games.

But in February, he became a healthy and frequent scratch as he sat for 14 of Wilkes-Barre / Scranton’s last 38 matches of the regular season. This included a hideous six-game streak in the April run.

After being scratched for the first four games of the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton postseason, he dressed for the team’s last two playoff games and generated two points (one goal, one assist).

The future: Obviously, after such a difficult first professional season, Legare needs to make some big steps forward in 2022-23.

He’s not the first player to tear things up at a youth level and then have a hard time adjusting to professional play. Physically, he could make up for mistakes against teens in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. But against the adults in the AHL, he can’t get away with sharp corners.

Bonding needs to understand the consistency and details, especially in defense, that are required to be a professional in everyday life. The basic skills needed to become a high-impact NHLer are there. He has a scoring touch and is not afraid to physically shuffle. And management seems to remain optimistic about his potential.

To realize that potential, he’ll need to take full advantage of the lessons provided by some of the considerable growing pains he endured in his first season as a pro.

Follow the penguins throughout the season.

Seth Rorabaugh is a writer on the Tribune-Review staff. You can contact Seth via email at srorabaugh@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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