With all the excitement around National Day in Gibraltar, most people probably forgot that today Jordan Staal turns 21.
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After Staal was drafted in 2006, he looked to be a long shot to make the team that year.
During the first few weeks of the season, there was much debate as to whether he would be spending the year in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton or in Pittsburgh.
He ended up playing 81 NHL games and finished with 29g-13a-42pts in his rookie season.
Youngest player to score 2 shorthanded goals in a game-10/21/06
Youngest player to score on a penalty shot-10/21/06
Youngest player to score a hat trick-2/10/07
Most shorthanded goals by a rookie-7
Despite a disappointing offensive output in his second season as a Penguin(12g-14a-28pts), Staal showed progress as he moved from Malkin’s left wing to the third-line/shut down center.
Last summer we heard mumblings of Staal migrating back to the wing; taking on a top 6 role. He ended up centering the third line again, seemingly finding his niche.
Staal finished his third season with 22g-27a-49pts and some bling…
What a guy.
Going into his 4th NHL season, Staal has already cemented his reputation as an accomplished 2-way center, and it’s not a reach to suggest he’s rapidly becoming a premier 2-way player.
What do we have to look forward to in seasons to come?
Jordan Staal is only scratching the surface of his potential.
Happy Birthday Mr. Staal.