In: Mark Arcobello. Out: Andrew Ebbett
The Pittsburgh Penguins, who claimed Nashville Predators forward Mark Arcobello off waivers yesterday, have subsequently placed centerman Andrew Ebbett onto the wire. While Ebbett could very well be claimed by a team in need of scoring help in the bottom-six, I expect for him to return to Wilkes-Barre / Scranton. His replacement, however, could be here to stay.
Who is Mark Arcobello?
A 5’9”, 165 pound forward from Milford, Connecticut, Mark Arcobello played college hockey at Yale University before joining the Edmonton Oilers organization. Arcobello spent three and a half seasons at both the ECHL and AHL levels before breaking out in the 2013-14 season, with 28 points in 15 games for the Oklahoma City Barons. This earned Arcobello a call-up to Edmonton, where he finished the season with 18 points in 41 games.
Arcobello went on to put up 12 points in 36 games with Edmonton this season before being traded to Nashville for another undersized forward, Derek Roy. Arcobello played as a center for the Edmonton Oilers.
Like Nick Spaling, Arcobello could be used as a utility forward that can slot in at multiple forward positions on different lines. In 40 games this season, Arcobello recorded a Corsi Relative of 2.3, an On-Ice Corsi of 2.1, and an Off-Ice Corsi of -0.2. Although these numbers aren’t glamorous, his On-Ice Corsi figure is better than those recorded by former Oilers teammates Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, and Boyd Gordon.
Arcobello’s size naturally limits his ability to play a physical game at the NHL level. That being said, he is noted for his grittiness. Arcobello recorded three hits in four games with Nashville and fifty-four hits in 36 games with Edmonton (57 in 40 games total).
He’s not a great faceoff guy (254 wins in 529 tries this season; 206 wins in 410 tries last season), but having another player on the ice who can take faceoffs is always helpful during the playoffs.
Arcobello averaged around 15 minutes of ice time during the past two seasons in Edmonton. This season, he averaged 1:12 SHTOI and 0:50 PPTOI. Those figures have decreased from the previous season, when Arcobello averaged 1:38 and 1:07, respectively.
What Will Arcobello’s Role Be With The Penguins?
In all likelihood, Pens fans should expect for Arcobello to play on the fourth line in Pittsburgh. That being said, Pierre LeBrun has also stated that the Pens “feel he can play top-9 for them in a pinch.”i Although Arcobello played as a center in Edmonton, he was listed as a right winger during his time in Nashville.ii
Who Will Arcobello Replace?
Unlikely to unseat Marcel Goc as the fourth-line center, a possible choice would be for Arcobello to replace problem-child Craig Adams in the Penguins lineup. That being said, despite the Harvard graduate’s shortcomings, Adams is still a more effective player than Zach Sill.
For the time being, Mark Arcobello could be seen on the third line. Bryan Rust, who had been playing on the third line, was recently sent down to Wilkes-Barre / Scranton. A Downie – Sutter – Arcobello third line seems likely for the time being.