The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed defenseman Matt Niskanen to a two-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
The deal runs through the 2013-14 campaign, and has an average annual value of $2.3 million.
Niskanen, 25, completed his first full season with Pittsburgh in 2011-12, tallying 21 points (4G-17A) and a plus-9 rating in 75 regular-season games. He topped the 20-point mark for the first time since 2008-09 with Dallas, while his plus-9 rating was the second-highest total of his career (plus-22 in ‘07-08). Niskanen added three points (1G-2A) in four playoff games.
The 6-foot, 209-pound Niskanen has played one-plus seasons with the Penguins since being acquired with James Neal from the Dallas Stars on Feb. 21, 2011. During that time he has appeared in 93 regular-season games, collecting five goals, 20 assists, 25 points and a plus-7 rating. He also has four points (1G-3A) in 11 playoff games.
Originally drafted by Dallas in the first round (28th overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft, Niskanen has played in 370 career NHL games with the Stars and Penguins, tallying 21 goals and 107 points. His best season came in ’08-09, when he established career highs in games played (80), assists (29) and points (35). Niskanen has seven points (1G-6A) in 27 career playoff games.
Prior to joining the Stars, the Virginia, Minnesota native spent two seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he scored 45 points (10G-35A) in 77 career contests. Niskanen was named All-WCHA First-Team as a sophomore after posting 31 points (9G-22A) in 39 contests.
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