Even though it's all about Phil Kessel today, the Pittsburgh Penguins signed 5 players who will play mostly depth type roles.
Pittsburgh lost minors leaguers to free agency in: Jayson Megna, Nick D'Agostino, Andrew Ebbett and Nick Drazenovic..And Taylor Chorney signed a one-way $700,000 contract with the Washington Capitals.
So who are the new faces? We'll take 'em one by one, with the biggest names at the top.
The first new guy, is not new at all. Conor Sheary played for the WB/S Penguins last year on an AHL contract. He did so well, he's now on a well-deserved NHL contract. Everyone's looking for the next Tyler Johnson, and Sheary might not quite have that high of a ceiling, but the youngster certainly is a player to watch. From the Pens:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Conor Sheary to a two-year entry-level contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
Sheary, 23, completed his first full professional season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2014-15, compiling a team-high 45 points (20G-25A) – the seventh-highest total among AHL rookies – in 58 regular-season games . His 20 goals ranked second on WBS.
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Sheary led WBS with 12 points (5G-7A) in eight postseason games this season. He had three multiple-point playoff games, including WBS’ series-clinching win against Syracuse when he tallied three points (2G-1A) in a 5-2 win.
Oleksy is like a poor man's Deryk Engelland. He's a rough-tough right handed defensive defenseman. I've seen a lot of him, and I think he's actually a little under-rated as a skater and puck-mover, though he doesn't really have the consistency to be a full time NHL player. Still, he's a solid add now as probably the #9 or #10 member of the Penguins organization. From his press release:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Steve Oleksy to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal is a two-way contract that carries an average annual value of $575,000 at the NHL level.Oleksy endears himself to Penguins fans already. (NHLI via USA Today)
Oleksy, 29, has played parts of the last three seasons in the NHL with the Washington Capitals, compiling three goals, 16 assists, 19 points and a plus-15 in 62 regular-season contests. He also has one helper in seven NHL playoff games.
The 6-foot, 190-pound blueliner spent a majority of the 2014-15 campaign with Washington’s top farm club, the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), where he totaled 15 points (4G-11A) and a plus-13 in 68 regular-season games while serving as an alternate captain.
Gotta like that Porter's played 206 career NHL games, and he was ranked the #14 best AHL free agent on the market. Hopefully we won't see him in Pittsburgh (that would probably mean about 4-5 forwards are hurt) but if he has to make a cameo, he's got some experience.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Kevin Porter to a one-year, two-way contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal has an average annual value of $575,000 at the NHL level.
A 6-foot, 190-pound winger, Porter spent the entire 2014-15 season with the Grand Rapids Griffins (American Hockey League), scoring 16 goals and adding 23 assists for 39 points. In 28 career AHL playoff games, Porter has posted one goal and ten assists.
Mouillierat (who's name I'll never know how to spell) was ranked #15 in AHL free agents. He played 6 games in the NHL for the Islanders and has scored 50+ points for the past 2 seasons in the AHL. Losing Ebbett and Drazenovic, the WB/S Pens need players like that. Cue the team:
Mouillierat celebrating his first (and to date only) NHL goal. (NHLI via USA Today)
A 6-foot, 188-pound forward, Mouillierat saw his first NHL action with the New York Islanders in ’14-15, tallying a goal and an assist in six games. He scored his first NHL goal against the Arizona Coyotes’ Mike Smith on Feb. 24.
During the ’13-14 season, Mouillierat helped the St. John’s IceCaps advance to the AHL Calder Cup Final, contributing seven goals, six assists and 13 points in 21 playoff contests. During the regular season he scored 20 goals and produced a career-best 53 points in 60 games.
Finally, the Pens added a defenseman in Warsofsky. We'll let the team take it from here:
The deal is a two-way contract that carries an average annual value of $600,000 at the NHL level.
Warsofsky, 25, has played 230 games for the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL) since the 2010-11 season, scoring 18 goals and adding 77 assists for 95 points and a plus-seven. The blueliner paced all Providence defensemen in assists (26) and points (32) in the 2013-14 regular season. He led Providence defensemen in goals (2), assists (7) and points (9) in 12 playoff games.
A 5-foot-9, 170-pound defenseman, Warsofsky played four games with Boston in 2014-15, registering one assist and a plus-one. He averaged 18:06 of ice time in those four games. Warsofsky made his NHL debut in 2013-14 with Boston, playing six games. The left-shooting defenseman has one goal and two assists in 10 career NHL games.