Forward Zach Boychuk, a 23-year-old former first-round selection of the Carolina Hurricanes, was claimed off waivers Thursday by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boychuk was the Charlotte Checkers leading scorer this season and has 178 points in 215 AHL games with Carolina's affiliates, but was never able to carve out a niche in the NHL with the Hurricanes.
Carolina selected Boychuk 14th overall in 2008, even giving him a two-game look with the team that fall before reassigning him to Lethbridge of the WHL. But Boychuk's junior and AHL scoring prowess never translated to NHL production — he registered just seven goals and 11 assists in 73 games with the Canes.
Boychuk could get a golden opportunity immediately: Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has already said he could fit on Evgeni Malkin's line, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Rossi.
Here is the release from the Hurricanes.
PENGUINS CLAIM ZACH BOYCHUK ON WAIVERS
Forward appeared in one game for Carolina this season
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the Pittsburgh Penguins have claimed forward Zach Boychuk on waivers.
Boychuk, 23, appeared in Carolina’s season opener against the Florida Panthers and was a healthy extra for four games. The Airdrie, Alb., native has 32 points (16g, 16a) in 37 games for Charlotte this season, ranking first among Checkers in goals and points. Drafted by the Hurricanes in the first round (14th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Boychuk has scored seven goals and earned 11 assists (18 points) in 73 career NHL games with the Hurricanes.