Offseason roster changes make Penguins slightly older, taller and lighter

October 3, 2018

The Penguins’ Matt Cullen takes a shot during the first day of camp Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

After making relatively minor personnel changes in the offseason, the opening-night roster the Pittsburgh Penguins turned in to the league office Tuesday included only four names that weren’t on the team last year.

Adding Jack Johnson, Matt Cullen, Derek Grant and Juuso Riikola was enough to make the team slightly older, slightly taller and slightly lighter than it was a year ago.

The Penguins will open this season with an average age of 28.0, height of a little over 6-foot-1 and weight of 198.9 pounds.

At the start of last season, they had an average age of 27.7, height of a little under 6-1 and weight of 199.7 pounds.

Here’s a look at some of the extremes of the roster:

-- Oldest player: Matt Cullen, who will turn 42 on Nov. 2. With all due respect to the venerable center, bringing him back is the only reason the Penguins have a slightly older roster this year. Take him out of the equation and their average age drops to 27.4.

-- Youngest player: Daniel Sprong, who will turn 22 on St. Patrick’s Day. Sprong was born in 1997, but the 2000 birth years are coming soon. Three of the four players the Penguins picked in last June’s draft were born after Y2K.

-- Tallest player: Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, at 6-7. There are only two taller players in the league: 6-9 Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara and 6-8 Winnipeg defenseman Tyler Myers.

-- Heaviest player: Oleksiak again, at 255 pounds. The only heavier player in the league is Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who is listed at 260.

-- Shortest player: No one on the Penguins roster will admit he’s 5-10. Going by officially listed heights, seven players share shortest player honors at 5-11: Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Carl Hagelin, Patric Hornqvist, Chad Ruhwedel, Bryan Rust and Dominik Simon. With 5-4 Nathan Gerbe in the AHL, the shortest player in the league is 5-7 Chicago winger Alex DeBrincat.

-- Lightest player: Goaltender Matt Murray is the lightest Penguin, carrying 178 pounds on his 6-4 frame. The lightest player in the league is 153-pound Edmonton winger Kailer Yamamoto.

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