Penguins Re-Sign Defenseman Simon Despres
The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed defenseman Simon Despres to a two-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal runs through the 2015-16 campaign and has an average annual value of $900,000.
Despres, 22, split time between Pittsburgh and American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2013-14. He tied his career-high in assists (5) and set a career highs in games played (34) with Pittsburgh. While with WBS, Despres finished second in scoring among defensemen with 22 points (6G-16A) while setting personal AHL career highs in goals (6) assists (16), points (22) and plus/minus (+19). His plus-19 led all WBS skaters.
The 6-foot-4, 214-pound Despres helped lead WBS to a deep playoff run in 2014, where he established AHL playoff career highs in goals (2) assists (7) points (9), plus/minus (+5) and shots (30), while suiting up for all 17 playoff games.
Despres, who has spent parts of each of his first three professional seasons in the NHL with Pittsburgh, has accumulated 16 points (3G-13A) and a plus-18 in 85 career NHL regular season games. He has also dressed in 6 career NHL playoff games.
The Laval, Quebec native has tallied 44 career points (15G-29A) and a plus-9 in 107 AHL regular-season games. Despres has appeared in 27 career AHL playoff games, where he registered 11 points (3G-8A) and a plus-6.
Drafted by the Penguins first round (30th overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft, Despres won the Emile Bouchard Trophy as the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) defenseman of the year in 2010-11. Additionally, he helped Team Canada win the silver medal at the 2011 World Junior Championships.