Riikola was once again absent from the scoresheet versus the Kings on Wednesday and finds himself bogged down in a 12-game pointless streak.
During Riikola's slump, he's served as a healthy scratch on five occasions, something that will likely become more frequent for the young blueliner once John Marino (jaw) or Brian Dumoulin (ankle) is cleared to return to the lineup. Given his lack of offensive production and inability to avoid the press box, Riikola won't offer much in terms of fantasy value down the stretch.
Riikola served as a healthy scratch against the Capitals on Sunday.
With Justin Schultz healthy, Riikola finds himself relegated to an observer role while Chad Ruhwedel keeps a spot in the lineup. The eventual return of Brian Dumoulin (ankle) will only serve to push the 25-year-old Riikola further down the team's depth chart. Without a clear path to ice time, the Finn should be considered a low-end fantasy option.
Riikola had a power-play assist in Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Golden Knights.
Riikola only has six points in 21 games this season, but two of them have come on the power play. The Finn has added 45 hits and 27 shots on goal. He's not expected to produce much offense in a third-pairing role.
Riikola tallied a goal and an assist with a plus-4 rating in a 5-2 victory over the Predators on Friday.
The 26-year-old has been back in the lineup for three straight games, and if owners trusted him immediately upon his return, they were greatly rewarded Friday. This was the first time in Riikola's career that he posted multiple points and better than a plus-2 rating in a game. He hadn't accomplished either feat at the NHL level previously, so we'll see if this is the breakthrough he needed. Riikola has one goal and three points with a plus-4 rating in 15 games this season.
Riikola was a healthy scratch in Saturday's clash with the Kings.
Riikola has been stuck in the press box for the Penguins' last five games and has only played twice since No. 19 versus the Islanders. With Brian Dumoulin (ankle) on the shelf, the youngster Riikola had a chance to slot into the lineup but hasn't been able to unseat Chad Ruhwedel.
Riikola is averaging 2:02 of power-play ice time in the past six games with Kris Letang (lower body) out of the lineup.
Unfortunately for fantasy owners, Riikola has underwhelmed offensively since stepping into the lineup, as he registered just one assist, 10 shots and 16 hits in those six games without Tanger. Given his limited ice time versus the Islanders on Tuesday (14:20), the Finnish blueliner could see his spot given over to Chad Ruhwedel in the near future.
Rikkola has played in just two games for the Penguins this season and averaged a meager 7:33 of ice time in those contests.
Riikola was once again a healthy scratch versus the Panthers on Tuesday in favor of Jack Johnson. Pittsburgh continues to carry nine defensemen on the 23-man roster, which is limiting minutes all around. The emergence of John Marino as a favorite of coach Mike Sullivan certainly hasn't improved Rikkola's chances of playing. Without a clear path to a spot in the lineup, the Finn won't offer much in terms of fantasy value in the foreseeable future.
Riikola signed a one-year, $850,000 contract with Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Riikola's deal is one-way in nature, which means that the Penguins would have to risk putting the youngster on waivers in order to send him down to the minors. With the team also signing Chad Ruhwedel to a new contract, it currently has eight blueliners under contract for the 2019-20 campaign, which could be an indication that somebody will get moved via trade, with Jack Johnson perhaps the most likely candidate.
The Penguins reassigned Riikola to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday, Wes Crosby of NHL.com reports.
Riikola has been a healthy scratch for nine consecutive contests, so this move doesn't come as a surprise. The 25-year-old rookie will likely be tasked with taking on top-pairing minutes with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Riikola served as a healthy scratch versus Florida on Tuesday.
Riikola was bumped from the lineup following the return of Brian Dumoulin (concussion). While the 24-year-old Riikola could still earn some ice time over Zach Trotman over the next few games, once Kris Letang (upper body) is given the all-clear, both guys figure to serve as depth reserve options and will be watching from the press box more often than not.
Riikola has played in 10 straight games and appears to be the preferred sixth option on the Pens' blue line.
Riikola continues to get minutes over Chad Ruhwedel, who hasn't appeared in a game since mid-November. The 24-year-old Riikola was likely facing relegation to the press box due to the impending return of Justin Schultz (lower leg), but an injury to Olli Maatta (shoulder) figures to keep him in the lineup.
Riikola scored the second goal of his NHL career with a power-play marker against the Coyotes in a 3-2 overtime victory Friday night.
The 25-year-old scored from the point, recording his second goal in six games. He's come close to scoring a lot more than two goals, but through 24 games, Riikola has two goals and three points. He's most valuable in the hits category -- where Riikola has 54 in 24 contests -- but for the most part, the Finnish defenseman can be left safely on the waiver wire.
Riikola has been re-inserted into the lineup for the past two games due to the injury to Jamie Oleksiak (concussion).
Since earning a spot on the 23-man roster coming out of training camp, Riikola has served as a healthy scratch in 19 of 36 games. The addition of Marcus Pettersson will make breaking into the lineup all the more difficult for Riikola down the stretch, but he may still avoid time in the minors once Justin Schultz (lower leg) is cleared to return to action.
Riikola slotted into the lineup for Wednesday's clash with Dallas following a four-game stint as a healthy scratch.
In his reintroduction to the lineup, Riikola logged 15:11 of ice time in which he failed to tally a point but earned a plus-2 rating. The Finnish defender will have to compete with Chad Ruhwedel for a spot on the blue line for the entire season, and without a consistent role, he offers low-end fantasy value.
Riikola will appear in his first NHL game against the Golden Knights on Thursday, Sam Kasan of Pens Inside Scoop reports.
Riikola was a relative unknown heading into training camp, but a strong performance during the preseason forced the team to keep him on the 23-man roster. Now with Olli Maatta struggling, the young Finn will get his chance in a regular-season contest.
Riikola picked up two assists (one on the power play) in Friday's 7-6 preseason loss to the Blue Jackets.
The 24-year-old continues to impress in whatever role the Penguins try him in, and Riikola may be closing in on an NHL roster spot to begin the season. Even if he does break camp with Pittsburgh, it might take a couple of injuries ahead of him to garner significant fantasy value, however.
Riikola joined the second power-play unit at practice Friday, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
It could be as simple as having Riikola fill in for Justin Schultz (upper body), who won't be in the lineup against Columbus on Friday, but it is another indication that the youngster Riikola may force his way into the 23-man roster -- at the expense of Chad Ruhwedel.
Riikola remains on the Pens' roster after the team cut 18 players Sunday.
Riikola has put together a strong training camp which has him putting pressure on Chad Ruhwedel for a spot on the 23-man roster. Signed to a one-year, entry-level contract this offseason, the undrafted blueliner has spent the last five seasons playing in his native Finland. If he does make the team, the 24-year-old will likely spend a lot of time in the press box as the Pens' blue line is pretty well set with no current openings for a young player to break into.
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