Monday, June 7, 2010

Pens Re-Sign Nick Johnson

The Penguins have re-signed winger Nick Johnson to a one year deal for 500k. It is a two way contract, meaning he can move freely between Wilkes Barre-Scranton and Pittsburgh without clearing waivers. Johnson was an RFA, and one of the younger prospects the Pens needed to sign this offseason. He is a powerful winger who not only has a good shot but provides a large presence in front of the net to get rebounds. He scored 20 goals last season, with 4 of them coming in the 4 playoff games played by the WBS Pens. He has also shown much potential in the NHL, scoring his first career goal against the Capitals. He played a total of 6 games with the big club, and saw significant ice time when playing. It was a very good move by the Pens to pursue him, but surprising they elected to only sign him one year. Johnson is still quite young (24) and has shown that he can be effective at the NHL level. There is currently no room for him with Pittsburgh, but space may be available later on. The fact that the Pens only signed him for one year tells me one of two things. Either the organization does not have full confidence in his development and plan to give him one more year in Wilkes-Barre before they decide if they want to keep him long term or they simply do not believe there is enough room for another long term player at this time. Either way Nick Johnson should be motivated to not prove himself (he has already done that) but prove that he can continue to play at a high level and develop at the rate he has been.

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