Nicholas Acevedo | December 27th, 2018
The Pittsburgh Penguins have inked Jake Guentzel to a five-year, $30 million extension.
The Penguins have re-signed forward Jake Guentzel to a five-year, $30 million contract extension. The deal begins with the 2019.20 season.
Rutherford on @jakenbake20: “He has become a core player on the team.”
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 27, 2018
The 77th overall pick from 2013 has averaged 0.34 points per game, second only to Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames (0.37). The deal will begin during the 2019-20 season and expire in 2023-24, preventing what would have been a restricted free agency for Guentzel in July.
Guentzel was instrumental in the Penguins’ Stanley Cup championship run in 2017. Guentzel’s 21 points tied the NHL rookie record for playoff points scored and his 13 goals (second most by a rookie in NHL history) led the entire NHL.
Though Pittsburgh only made it through two rounds in the 2018 campaign, Guentzel produced another 21 points (10G-11A) through only 12 games played. Guentzel joins Hall of Fame owner Mario Lemieux as only the second player in Penguins history to reach the double-digit mark in goals scored in each of their first two playoff runs.
Though Pittsburgh has struggled a bit this season, Guentzel has notched 33 points (15G-18A) in 36 games and is on pace to have another personal record-setting season. In 158 regular-season games, Guentzel has scored 53 goals and 61 assists for a total of 114 points.
“Jake established himself as an impact player for our team from the beginning, especially during the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs,” said Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford in a statement put out by the team after the deal was announced. “He has become a core player on the team and we are thrilled to get Jake signed long-term with the Penguins.”
Pittsburgh now has 11 players signed through the next three seasons, taking up $56 million in salary cap space. With over 30% of the projected cap space for the 2019-20 season still available, the Penguins have room to add some more depth to their roster.
With Sidney Crosby as his center, Guentzel is poised to continue scoring at a torrid pace for the next five years.
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Main Credit Image:Embed from Getty Images