After not scoring for 22 games, Bryan Rust finally appears to be back to his old self. Rust, after signing a 4-year contract with an AAV of $3,500,000 million, struggled early on this season. He only had seven points (one goal) through his first 29 games this season.
Mike Sullivan has tried to put Rust anywhere to boost his scoring. He was moved up and down the lineup, but finds himself regularly on the 1st line with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. Occasionally, he was put on the 2nd power play unit. There were points in the season where Penguins fans wondered if he would ever return to his old form.
When the Penguins visited Chicago on the 12th, Rust finally appeared to get that monkey off of his back, scoring a hat trick. He was the only Penguin to score in that game. In the four games he’s played since, he turned into a point per game player (three goals, one assist). Rust discovering his old scoring touch is what the Penguins needed at this point in the season. They have won three of their four games since the hat trick.
Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2010 NHL Draft, Bryan Rust has been in the Penguins system since he was drafted. He finally got some playing time in 2015, but wasn’t a regular on the team until 2016.
Rust is primarily known for showing up in big moments. Earning the nickname “Mr. Game 7”, Rust has three goals in two game 7’s played. Rust recently proved that, getting the game winning goal in the Penguins’ 2-1 victory against the Capitals.
He’s a key part of the Penguins’ roster, being on the 8th ranked penalty kill and having some time on the power play.
It appears as if Rust is finally making his contract worth it.