McKegg signed a one-year, two-way contract extension with the Hurricanes on Wednesday. He'll make $715,000 at the NHL level, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. McKegg averaged greater than a point per game in the OHL, though he hasn't been able to avoid the AHL-to-NHL shuttle in any year since the Maple Leafs selected him in the third round (62nd overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The 26-year-old center has posted 13 points (seven goals, six assists) over 91 NHL games between the Leafs, Panthers, Lightning and Penguins. He was traded to Carolina last February, so the hope is that he can stay in one spot for a while and build cohesion with the Hurricanes regulars.
McKegg was tendered a qualifying offer from Carolina on Monday. The 26-year-old scored just four points in 26 NHL contests last season with Pittsburgh, but did manage 14 goals and 35 points in 47 AHL games. After his solid showing with AHL Charlotte, it seems that Carolina might give him a shot on the NHL roster next season if he is re-signed.
McKegg is a member of the Hurricanes after a swap with Pittsburgh saw Josh Jooris move the other way Monday. The 25-year-old McKegg is a well-traveled pro, having already played for Toronto, Florida, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh -- as well as each of the franchises' AHL affiliates -- in his career. With 91 games of NHL experience, McKegg provides organizational depth to a team that currently sits three points out of a playoff spot.
McKegg is averaging a paltry 7:03 of ice time in his previous 10 outings. Unsurprisingly given his limited minutes, McKegg is also bogged down in a 10-game pointless streak. At the end of the day, the Penguins' fourth line of McKegg, Ryan Reaves and Tom Kuhnhackl (occasionally Josh Archibald) is not being relied upon for scoring, but rather to serve as a tough, gritty group that can spell Pittsburgh's stars for a few minutes a game and not give up a goal to the opposing team. With this in mind, owners probably shouldn't be relying on McKegg for much in terms of fantasy production.
McKegg has notched one goal and two helpers in the first nine games of the year. With the addition of Riley Sheahan, McKegg will drop to the Pens' fourth line and will likely need to battle with Carter Rowney (hand) for minutes throughout the season. In his 74 career outings, the 25-year-old McKegg has tallied six goals and a half dozen helpers, so fantasy owners probably shouldn't be banking on him for a 20-goal campaign.
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