29-Year-Old Defenseman – Pittsburgh Penguins
Boris Valabik Contract Information:
Signed with Pittsburgh on a one-year, $550,000, two-way deal in July of 2011.
The Penguins placed Valabik (knee) on waivers Tuesday, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Boris Valabik.
Valabik is a monster at 6-foot-7, 245 pounds that Pittsburgh signed for possible muscle. He inked a two-way deal with the Pens in July of 2011 and probably won't spend that much time skating in CONSOL Energy Center. His fantasy value lies within his ability to collect penalty minutes. Valabik, who isn't known as a particularly good fighter, collected 189 penalty minutes in 59 AHL contests last season with the Chicago Wolves. Consider the big Slovakian as a potential waiver-wire pickup when Pittsburgh squares off in games that might feature a fight or two.
In 73 career NHL games for the Thrashers over the last 2 seasons, Valabik has 7 assists and holds a -12 plus/minus rating. Although he is a big body that can be a solid stay at home defensman down the line, Valabik is not a valuable fantasy commodity and has very little offensive upside.
Valabik, who was called up last year in March, may help out at the blue-line in 2008-09. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound defenseman tallied 42 PIM's in seven games with The Thrash. He will provide plenty of PIM's this season, but he won't have much fantasy relevance until he starts scoring.
Atlanta's first round pick (10th overall) in 2004 is developing in the minors and the club is expecting big things from the 6'7, 230 lbs defender. Valabik is continually compared to fellow giant Zdeno Chara, but he has been developing much quicker than Chara did. All Chara comparisons aside, Valabik is only 21, has only played in the OHL and has never showed a scoring touch in his professional career. He's probsbly at least a year away from the NHL and a few years from being a fantasy factor.
The hulking defenseman has been drawing comparisons with Zhedo Chara, but that's mostly due to his 6-foot-7 frame rather than his offensive skill. He's a work in progress for the Thrashers but could make an impact in the future.