Role: Defensive-minded defenseman
Contract Status: Signed through 2011-12
Notables: 23 years old, 6-1, 200 lbs., Left handed shot
Season Stats: 75 games played, 2G, 8A, +22, 49 PIM
Playoff Stats: 12 games played, 1G, 3A, +3, 10 PIM
With only five goals and a +45 in two full seasons with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, it's safe to say that Brian Strait is not an offensive defenseman by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, Strait hasn't scored more than three goals in any campaign dating back to his days at Boston University.
Rather, he plays solid defensive hockey and is rarely caught out of position or even on the ice for an opposing team's goal.
Strait has been a warrior on the blue line, missing only seven games in his Penguins career. He was actually rumored to have been playing the 2010-11 Calder Cup Playoffs with a broken finger!
Strait also played three games with the NHL Penguins this past season and while he didn't register any points for Pittsburgh, he played sound positional hockey and gained some valuable experience. He will certainly play a pivotal role on the AHL Penguins blue line this season.
Paired with Robert Bortuzzo in Wilkes-Barre, Strait played a physical style of defense while also playing within the rules of the game. He cut his time spent in the penalty box penalty from 73 minutes in 2009-10 to 49 minutes this past season.
But what is Strait's future with Pittsburgh? He's shown he could play at the NHL level on a part time status, but his contract will be up at the end of this season and he might be looking for a better shot to continue his career in the NHL. With five defensemen signed in Pittsburgh for the next three seasons, there might not be room for Strait in the organization's future plans.