In an effort to prove just how meaningful Jake Guentzel is to the future of the Penguins’ organization, general manager Jim Rutherford announced today that the team signed him to a five-year, $30 million contract extension. The deal will begin at the start of the 2019-20 season and will run through 2023-24.
Guentzel has had another fantastic start to the season, and his current boxcars are proof enough that he’s going to continue being a dynamic offensive player for this team. His 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 36 games already surpasses his efforts from his excellent rookie season, and they’re well on their way to blowing out his full year stint in 2017-18 too. He has also registered a hat trick and established a new career-long point streak of six games straight so far this campaign.
It’s difficult to mention the Penguins and not mention the stellar efforts of Guentzel, especially in the playoffs and Stanley Cup series. When Pittsburgh won the Cup in 2017, Guentzel led all NHL players in the postseason with 13 goals — the second-most ever by a rookie in league history. He also holds the record for game-winning goals for rookies in the playoffs and is tied for the rookie record in points with 21. His 47 points (23 goals, 19 assists) in 32 postseason tilts are second only to Sidney Crosby. However, Guentzel’s 23 goals are good for the most tallies by all NHL players in the playoffs in the past two years.
In his 159 total games with the Penguins, Guentzel has collected 114 points (53 goals, 61 assists) — good for the fourth highest point mark on the team since entering the league.
Just this past spring, Guentzel was spectacular yet again, tallying 10 goals and accruing 21 points in just 12 games. It took until the end of the conference finals and Stanley Cup series for the remaining players to catch up to the pace he set in just the first two rounds. After the Capitals hoisted the Cup, Guentzel was still ranked fourth among all skaters in goals and tied for fifth in points. He and Mario Lemieux are the only players in league history to reach double-digits in goals scored in each of their first two playoff stints.
With all that said, add a ring to Guentzel’s name, and this contract is an absolute steal for Rutherford and the Penguins. It also, more importantly, eliminates any potential for an RFA hold out (cc: Toronto). According to CapFriendly, Guentzel will move into a 12-team no trade clause in years four and five of his contract.
He provides even-strength scoring, durability, youth, and a high hockey I.Q. It’s a great deal that doesn’t handcuff the team, and it’s well-earned by an exciting player.