It looks like the Pittsburgh Penguins are dipping back into the college free agent pool, with Princeton senior Corey Andonovski reportedly in the process of signing with the Pens.
Sources say Princeton forward Corey Andonovski has chosen the @penguins as his NHL destination.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 10, 2022
Andonovski is the leading scorer for Princeton this past season. The right shot is listed as a right winger.
Hearing that the #Canucks could be in the mix with the signing of Princeton forward, Corey Andonovski.— Dave Hall (@hall1289) March 10, 2022
Through four years, he's fired at a 0.63 clip with 21 goals and 29 helpers. pic.twitter.com/SDA0SvdRJA
Daily Faceoff’s Chris Peters ranked Andonovski the sixth best college free agent, writing:
The leading scorer at Princeton, Andonovski has had a steady stream of scouts filtering into Hobey Baker Arena to watch him this season. The senior forward has put up a career-best 21 points in 29 games while playing for one of the NCAA’s weakest teams. Andonovski did not play last season with Ivy League programs shut down, but he’s come back very strongly. Andonovski’s skating ability, the pace he can play at and good-enough offensive touch have made him an enticing option. As does the fact he’s a “true senior” at just 22 years old, which gives him a little more runway than some of the older prospects.
The Athletic’s Corey Pronman was less effusive in his outlook, writing in his recent profile of top free agents:
Andonovski is a strong skater who competes hard and will appeal himself to coaches. I just don’t see much of an offensive touch in his game and without much size it’s hard to see him above the AHL level.
The size issue is interesting for the differences you can find on the internet. Andonovski is listed at 5’11 and 165 pounds on his Elite Prospects profile and a much bigger 6’1, 195 on his hockeydb and also on the Princeton hockey page. That latter number could be possibly a little inflated, but we will see if size is an issue when he turns pro.
The Penguins signed OHL forward Jordan Frasca and WHL goalie Taylor Gauthier on March 1st, the first day that NHL teams could register contracts for free agents to begin next year in 2022-23. Time will tell, but typically NCAA free agents tend to play in the minor league ranks when their college season ends, so there is a possibility Andonovski could be Wilkes-Barre bound soon.
As it stands, without much talent and draft picks lately, the Penguins have to take chances and have done a good job to convince another fairly sought after undrafted player to choose their organization to play as a professional. Get enough of these lottery tickets and perhaps some will pay off down the line.
Update: it’s official now, Andonovski will report to the AHL for the rest of this season on a tryout and his contract officially kicks in for the 2022-23 season.
The Penguins have agreed to terms with college free agent forward Corey Andonovski to a two-year, entry-level contract.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 10, 2022
The contract will begin during the 2022.23 season. Andonovski will report to the @WBSPenguins on an amateur tryout contract.
Details: https://t.co/JFGuARRevm pic.twitter.com/otOgCGoO7g