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Matt Niskanen | Defenseman

Team: Pittsburgh Penguins
Age / DOB:  (27) / 12/6/1986
Ht / Wt:  6'0' / 209
Contract: view contract details
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Recent News

While the Pittsburgh Penguins defense has been rattled by injuries this season, Matt Niksanen continues to be a pleasant surprise, as he notched 10 goals for the first time in his career on Sunday.
He now has 39 points overall, already buffing up another best-ever mark for the 27-year-old defenseman. With a solid 45 PIM and fantastic +31 rating, he's easily worth having but isn't available in many leagues any longer (79 percent owned). Mar 16 - 3:16 PM

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Player News

Date:

Matt Niskanen punched in two goals for the Pens in their 3-1 win over Nashville on Tuesday night.

Niskanen now has nine goals and 37 points through 61 games this season. The 27 year-old has five points in his past five games in what has been a breakout year.
Mar 4 - 11:22 PM

Matt Niskanen was the lone goal scorer for the Penguins in a 5-1 throttling against the Panthers on Monday.

Niskanen's marker was his seventh of the campaign, but it was far from enough for the losing Penguins. Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang drew assists on the goal.
Jan 20 - 10:08 PM

Matt Niskanen scored the Pittsburgh Penguins' lone goal in a 2-1 defeat against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz assisted on Niskanen's goal. For Crosby, it was just the third time in seven games that he had been held to one or fewer points.
Tue, Dec 31, 2013 03:39:00 PM

Matt Niskanen has regained his confidence.

Niskanen has 17 points in 38 games while averaging 20:13 minutes per contest this season. He also has a plus-20 rating, which is superb even on a team as talented as the Penguins. Assistant coach Todd Reirden feels that Niskanen's confidence was hurt when he was traded to Pittsburgh because he was regarded as a throw-in in the James Neal for Alex Goligoski deal. Whatever the case might be, he's been a big help to the Penguins.
Mon, Dec 23, 2013 10:31:00 AM

Matt Niskanen is emerging as a formidable fantasy performer this season on the Penguins' blueline.

The 27 year-old has three points in his past two games, raising his point output to 16 points so far this season to go along with an impressive +20 rating with 29 penalty minutes.
Fri, Dec 20, 2013 07:48:00 PM

Matt Niskanen played a career high 29:26 minutes on Saturday.

Niskanen was forced to take on a huge load as Kris Letang was a late scratch and Deryk Engelland was tossed from the game as he picked up a match penalty for his hit on Justin Abdelkader. Niskanen will see plenty of power play time in Letang's absence so he is worth picking up at this time in deeper leagues.
Sun, Dec 15, 2013 09:35:00 AM

Defenseman Matt Niskanen, whom many expected to be traded in a salary move this summer, has helped Pittsburgh open the year with a 6-1-0 start.

Through the season's first two weeks, only two NHL defensemen have produced more points than Niskanen's six and he leads the NHL with a plus-10 rating. Niskanen can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and signing him to a long-term deal could be difficult for the Penguins, who have approximately $18 million in salary locked into the blue line next season. The organization also has a wealth of defensive prospects in Olli Maatta, Simon Despres, Derrick Pouliot, Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin — all of whom are or are close to being NHL-ready. Niskanen hinted that he would consider staying in Pittsburgh for less money than he could receive on the open market.
Sat, Oct 19, 2013 11:39:00 AM

Matt Niskanen scored the game winner with only 19 seconds remaining on Saturday.

It was a power play goal and his first of the season. Niskanen has been getting extra offensive duties with the injury to Kris Letang, and he now has five points this season as he also picked up an assist Saturday. Do not expect this scoring surge to continue but milk it as long as Letang remains sidelined.
Sun, Oct 13, 2013 11:01:00 AM

Matt Niskanen has gotten off to a strong start with three points in two contests.

"I feel comfortable, happy that everything's going well," Niskanen said. "I put in the work to get ready for camp. Camp went well. And now it's carried over to the first couple [of games]." Niskanen's name was brought up in trade rumors during training camp, but it looks like he'll stick with the Penguins for now. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has called Niskanen their best defenseman so far.
Tue, Oct 8, 2013 11:43:00 AM

Matt Niskanen registered two assists on Saturday.

Niskanen has three points in two games. Trade rumors swirled around him going into the season because the Penguins could use the cap space, but at this point we doubt he'll be traded anytime soon.
Sun, Oct 6, 2013 10:32:00 AM

Even though the Penguins are over the salary cap, general manager Ray Shero will not look to move Matt Niskanen.

The defenseman has a $2.3 million cap hit, which is a little much for a bottom-pair defenseman. Pittsburgh feels comfortable with him playing top-four minutes in case of an injury, so it values keeping him around. He had 14 points and averaged 20:21 of ice time per game last season. If Kris Letang (lower-body injury) isn't ready for the start of the year, Niskanen would be moved up.
Sat, Sep 28, 2013 08:36:00 PM

Matt Niskanen knows that his future with the Penguins is uncertain heading into training camp.

"I know the situation we're in, being over the cap," Niskanen said after an informal workout Monday. "It's pretty evident that Ray [Shero, the general manager] has to make a decision. Someone who probably otherwise is a regular on our roster [will be traded]." Rob Scuderi's signing in July and Niskanen's cap hit of $2.3 million makes him a logical candidate to be moved. He should also be able to attract interest on the trade market because he is becoming a much more reliable defender.
Tue, Sep 3, 2013 10:53:00 AM

The signing of defenseman Rob Scuderi makes it a relative certainty the Penguins will trade a blueliner before the start of the season.

Not only do the Pens currently have eight NHL-caliber defensmen on their roster, but since they're expected to be above the salary cap threshold, a move of some sort seems like a no-brainer. Given that he's one year away from free agency, Matt Niskanen's name has been one of the more popular ones mentioned in trade talks. A move to a team where he could take on a more offensive role could actually be a boon to his fantasy value. Stay tuned to see how the situation develops.
Sun, Jul 7, 2013 10:20:00 AM

Penguins Matt Niskanen recently found himself on the team's top defensive pairing alongside superstar Kris Letang.

Niskanen, who plays a fairly well-rounded game, understands he must play a more defensive style when paired with the Norris Trophy finalist. "Being aware of when [Letang] is being aggressive up the ice, I've got to be more responsible to let him do what he does," Niskanen said. It's a testament to his versatility that Niskanen can be paired with such an offensive partner after spending time alongside stay-at-home blueliner Doug Murray.
Sun, May 19, 2013 08:25:00 AM

Depth Charts

All Positions
PosRoleName
C1Sidney Crosby
2Evgeni Malkin
3Brandon Sutter
4Joe Vitale
5Brian Gibbons
6Marcel Goc
LW1Chris Kunitz
2Jussi Jokinen
3Beau Bennett
4Tanner Glass
5Taylor Pyatt
RW1James Neal
2Pascal Dupuis
3Lee Stempniak
4Craig Adams
5Jayson Megna
D1Kris Letang
2Paul Martin
3Matt Niskanen
4Olli Maatta
5Brooks Orpik
6Rob Scuderi
7Deryk Engelland
8Robert Bortuzzo
9Brian Dumoulin
G1Marc-Andre Fleury
2Jeff Zatkoff
3Tomas Vokoun