The Pittsburgh Penguins have locked up defenceman Marcus Pettersson for the next several years. The team has given its 23-year-old a five-year extension worth $20 million that will carry through the 2024-25 season. Elliotte Friedman broke the news early Tuesday morning.
Penguins Give Pettersson an Extension
This move gives the Pens an extended look at their promising young defender as moves into his prime. The former second-round pick from the Anaheim Ducks has one goal and 15 points in 50 games this year. He has a chance to surpass last season’s two goals and 25 points with a few months left in the regular season.
The team would like to see a little more offence from their young blueliner but Pettersson is still developing. Pittsburgh does not need Pettersson to step into a major role with Kris Letang still anchoring the power play. Veterans Justin Schultz and Jack Johnson are also still producing in their ways to help ease Pettersson into more action. The only real competition he has for a top pairing tole is John Marino, who has been one of the bigger surprises for Pittsburgh this year. However, the team still sees potential with Pettersson considering the significant raise they just gave him. He will have an average cap hit of $4.02 million for the life of the deal which is far more than his current $874,125. He will also receive a modified no-trade clause in the first two years of the deal.
What This Means for the Future
Pettersson’s deal means the team has just two defenders scheduled for free agency this summer in Schultz and Juuso Riikola. The Penguins don’t have any major decisions to make in the offseason outside of what to do with goaltending. Both Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry will be restricted free agents. Pettersson’s extension doesn’t affect that much beyond making it clear one will probably be traded before the 2020-21 season.
Extending Marcus Pettersson now might seem like odd timing but Pittsburgh didn’t want to take chances with their offseason salary negotiations.