(PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE) - After years of sucking out loud, the Penguins have established themselves as one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. After starting the year off like gangbusters, the mighty Pens have come back down to Earth having gone 3-6-1 in their last ten games. The good news for the club is that there are reinforcements on their way who should have an immediate impact next season when training camp rolls around. 

The dynamic Seth Jones should step in next year as a second pairing defender. After having seen his icetime reduced in Nashville, Jones has been able to refine and reflect on his game. 

"I want to do whatever it takes to make the Penguins next year. I think I have shown so far this year that I am ready to compete", said the 6'4, 205 lb defender.

Joining Jones on the backend is Swedish rear guard, Jonas Brodin. Having just had a cup of coffee with the Penguins before going down with a longterm injury, Brodin is anxious to get back into the lineup to prove to NEFHL GM's why they should have drafted him. It is expected that Brodin will represent Team Sweden during this years Winter Olympics.

"I feel like I am a steady two-way guy that can impact the team at both ends of the rink. I look forward to playing with guys like Letang and Coburn. Two guys who have been in the league for some time and have been successful" stated Brodin. 

Upfront, the Penguins will look to Tyler Toffoli to help add some secondary scoring. The gifted offensive forward can play any forward position and is capable of playing a defensiveminded role if needed. 

"I consider myself an all offense kind of guy. That said, if the coach wants me to play a bottom six role I'll do it. I want to be in the NHL playing with the best players in the world. I'll do whatever it takes to get there and stay there" said the flourishing foward. 

Finally, the biggest surprise of the year has been the play of Finnish netminder Antti Raanta. The tender was an unrestricted signing by the Pens in the offseason and looks to be a really competitor between the pipes. While he would have to play spectacular, it has not been rule out as to whether or not Raanta can compete for the starting job in Pittsburgh as early as next season. 

"He has been a pleasant surprised for sure. It'll be fun to watch him and Marc duke it out next year during training camp. Some friendly competition is always welcome in our dressing room" commented head coach, Dan Bylsma.

Honorable mentions to Alex Petrovic and Simon Despres who should get a look next season as well.