Penguins Re-Sign Deryk Engelland to 3-Year Contract Extension
Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero has locked up another one of the club’s fan favourites for the foreseeable future.
Hard-nosed defenseman Deryk Engelland, arguably the franchise’s most pleasant surprise to emerge this season, has inked a new 3-year pact with the black and gold which will take effect when his current deal expire at season’s end.
The new contract, running through the end of the 2013-14 NHL season, will pay the defender affectionately known as “Engells” to the team’s fan base an average of $566,700, undoubtedly a generous discount on behalf of Engelland to the organization that gave him a shot at an NHL career when it seemed as though no one else would.
Originally drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the sixth round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft (194th overall), the 28-year old Edmonton, Alberta native never played in a single NHL game, splitting time bouncing between the ECHL and AHL ranks after graduating from the Western Hockey League’s Moose Jaw Warriors in 2003. The Pittsburgh Penguins eventually signed Engelland as an unrestricted free agent in 2007, and he has remained in the organization ever since.
After suiting up for 9 games of injury relief duty in the 2009-10 season (recording 2 assists and 17 penalty minutes), a very strong showing in the Pens’ training camp prior to this season resulted in Head Coach Dan Bylsma awarding Engelland a full-time spot on the Penguins’ roster, a spot which he has embraced with a gritty combination of defensive prowess, toughness and fighting ability, arguably unseating Eric Godard as the team’s bona-fide enforcer.
Certainly a remarkable story of effort and perseverance for a 6th round draft choice who spent most of his professional career, up until recently, riding the buses and grinding it out in the unforgiving, often unseen world of minor league hockey.