Bryan Rust
Image: Notre Dame

Bryan Rust

Hometown:

Bloomfield Hills Michigan

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1992-05-11

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2010

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2010

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

3rd round (80th overall), 2010

Weight:

192 lbs.

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History

2008-09: Bryan Rust skated in 67 games for the US National Team Development Program U-17 team He scored 9 goals with 13 assists and had 26 PMs. Rust committed to playing college hockey at Notre Dame in 2010-11.

2009-10: Rust played for the US NTDP’s U18 team and also represented the USA at the 2010 U18 World Junior Championship. In 56 games with the U18 team he scored 20 goals with 22 assists and 18 PMs. Rust scored 4 goals with 2 assists and was +4 with 4 PMs in seven games for the gold-medal winning USA U18 squad in Belarus. Rust was ranked 80th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings and was selected by Pittsburgh in the third round (80th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.

2010-11: Rust was one of nine freshmen to see significant action as Notre Dame turned things around – finishing second in the CCHA and reaching the Frozen Four. He skated in 40 of 44 games for the Fighting Irish and scored 6 goals with 13 assists and was +14 with 4 PMs.

2011-12: Rust returned to Notre Dame after attending USA Hockey’s junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid in August and skated in all 40 games in his sophomore season. After scoring five goals in his first 16 games, Rust struggled offensively. He finished the year with 5 goals and 6 assists and was minus-two with 14 penalty minutes. The Fighting Irish slipped to eighth in the CCHA and lost to Michigan in the quarterfinals of the league playoffs.

2012-13: Rust was the second-leading scorer for Notre Dame as a junior, trailing only Islanders’ prospect Anders Lee. Skating on the Fighting Irish’s top scoring line with Lee and junior Jeff Costello (Ottawa), he was second on the team with 15 goals and had 19 assists. Rust appeared in all 41 games for Notre Dame and was +25 with 4 penalty minutes. The Fighting Irish won the final CCHA playoff championship after finishing second to Miami in the regular season. Notre Dame lost to St. Cloud State in the NCAA Midwest Regional semi-finals.

2013-14: Rust made his pro hockey debut in April 2014 following his senior season at Notre Dame — signing a two-year entry-level contract with Pittsburgh and skating in two regular season games and one playoff contest with the Penguins’ AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He had no points nor penalties in limited ice time in AHL play. Rust led Notre Dame with 17 goals and had 16 assists in 40 games; finishing +16 with 12 penalty minutes. Notre Dame finished eighth in Hockey East in its first year in the conference. The Fighting Irish upset first-place Boston College in the conference tournament and received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament; falling to St. Cloud State, 4-3, in overtime in the NCAA West regional semifinals. Rust scored one goal with one assist in both the deciding game against Boston College and in the regional game against St. Cloud State. 

2014-15: Rust made his NHL debut with the Penguins in a December 13th game against Columbus — skating in 14 games with Pittsburgh during a midseason call-up before being returned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -3 with 4 penalty minutes, averaging 12 minutes of ice time with Pittsburgh. Rust scored 13 goals with 14 assists and was +6 with 14 penalty minutes in 45 regular season AHL games. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton finished second in the East Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Rust returned for the Penguins’ final three games after missing the start of the Calder Cup playoffs due to injury, scoring 2 goals and finishing -1 with no penalties. 

2015-16: Rust played in 41 regular season games with Pittsburgh in his second pro season — missing time at two separate points in the season due to injury — and played 16 games for the Penguins’ AHL affiliate. Providing a boost in a lower line role during the second half when Pittsburgh was one of the NHL’s top teams, he scored 4 goals with 7 assists and was +1 with 12 penalty minutes, averaging 12:29 minutes of ice time. Returning to the Penguins’ lineup for the second game of the opening round series against the Rangers, Rust scored 2 goals with an assist in the series-clinching Game 5 win. In 14 AHL games he scored one goal with one assist and was -3 with 4 penalty minutes.

Talent Analysis

One of the top skaters in the Penguins prospect pool, Bryan Rust plays a high motor game that allows him to be effective in many different roles. Speed is the foundation of his game, but Rust has excellent hockey sense and a shooter’s mentality. He is not an overly creative forward though, and any offense he gets will be the result of hard work and getting lots of pucks on net. Rust rarely takes a penalty or makes a mistake on the ice and should develop into a solid NHL penalty killer as a result.

Future

Rust established himself as a solid two-way NHL forward with the speed to put pressure on opponents as a rookie in 2015-16. Overshadowed by forwards like Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel and the goal scoring of fellow rookie Conor Sheary, Rust was consistent on both ends of the ice, doing all the little jobs necessary to help his team win.

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