Penguins re-sign Simon Despres to 2-year, $1.8-million contract

Ian McLaren
Alan Maglaque-US PRESSWIRE

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The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed defenseman Simon Despres to a two-year, $1.8-million contract on Friday, according to general manager Jim Rutherford.

The 22-year-old was drafted 30th overall back in 2009; he split last season between the Penguins and their AHL team, registering five assists with the big club.

Despres helped lead Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to a deep playoff run in 2014, with two goals, seven assists and 30 shots in 17 playoff games.

With the departures of Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen via free agency, Despres is expected to challenge for a regular roster spot come training camp in September, especially given the changing of the guard among the team's coaching staff.