2006-07: Although Eric Tangradi’s offensive numbers weren’t overwhelming with only 20 points and five goals in 65 games during his rookie season, he improved performance in the playoffs may have raised his profile in some eyes. In 15 playoff games, Tangradi performed at better than a point-per-game clip, scoring eight goals and adding nine assists. He also added a bit of grit to his game, racking up 14 penalty minutes after only spending 32 minutes in the box all season long.
2007-08: In his second season with Belleville Tangradi posted 24 goals, 36 assists, and 41 PIM. He was just as impressive in the playoffs, posting 7 goals and 11 assists in 21 games.
2008-09: Tangradi was among the scoring leaders in the OHL all season long, finishing with 38 goals and 50 assists in 55 games. He also showed an increased level of physicality, posting 61 PIM. One of his more notably boorish moments happen during the WJC when Canadian player Chris DiDomenico, during a goal celebration, was clipped in the face from the bench by Tangradi. Around the trade deadline, he was moved to the Pittsburgh Penguins along with Chris Kunitz for defensemen Ryan Whitney. Tangradi would see his post-season cut short however as he suffered a horrific wrist injury during the playoffs. Before the injury, the winger posted 8 goals and 13 assists in 16 games.
2009-10: Assigned to the Penguins AHL affiliate out of camp, Tangradi hit a bit of a learning curve at the professional level. By the end of the season however, he found his groove and finished the season with 17 goals and 22 assists in 65 games. He also made one NHL appearance where he did not look out of place on a line with Jordan Staal and Tyler Kennedy.
2010-11: Made the NHL out of training camp only to be returned to the AHL after several games. Tangradi would get called up to the NHL again later in the season only to sustain a concussion and miss a month of hockey. He finished the season with 1 goal and 2 assists in 15 NHL games, and also made an appearance in the first round of the playoffs. In the AHL he managed 18 goals, 15 assists, and 86 penalty minutes in 42 games.
2011-12: Tangradi shuttled between the Penguins and their AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in his third pro season; playing 24 regular season games and two playoff contests for Pittsburgh. Primarily in a fourth line, two-way role for the Penguins, he averaged nine minutes of ice time per game and was minus-4 with 2 assists and 16 penalty minutes. He played in Games 4 and 5 of the six-game playoff series against the Flyers and was plus-two with 1 assist. Tangradi was a key part of the AHL team’s offense, scoring 15 goals with 16 assists in 37 games and was plus-one with 40 penalty minutes. Five of his goals were scored on the power play. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton reached the second round in the playoffs. Tangradi scored 4 goals with 5 assists and was plus-two with 14 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games. He was re-signed to a one-year contract as a restricted free agent by the Penguins in August, 2012.
Possessing great size and strength, Tangradi is first and foremost a fantastic net-front presence. He knows how to use his large frame in front of the net and can create match-up problems for opposing defensemen. He has gradually developed a similar type of warrior mentality when battling for loose pucks or playing in high-traffic areas of the ice. His on-ice awareness and vision are also above average to good. Tangradi has also demonstrated an outspoken nature which has led him to be a team leader at many stops throughout his young career.
Despite his massive size and surly on-ice disposition, the big winger was a skill-oriented player for much of his junior career and consequentially, has been learning how to play a power forward game in his last three years in the pros. He appears to have finally figured out the power forward game at the NHL level, and now must prove he is worthy of more opportunities and ice time.
Tangradi has been criticized for his flat-footed skating ability and while it surely is not a strength, there is no evidence at this point to suggest it is a major detriment either.
Tangradi will start the 2012-13 season in the NHL looking to lock down a spot in the top nine.
Tangradi was dealt by the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Winnipeg Jets in February of 2013.