The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed young forward Teddy Blueger to a two-year contract. The deal is one-way and will carry an average annual value of $750K. Assistant GM Bill Guerin released a statement:
Teddy is a perfect role model for younger players coming into the league. When you watch a guy with his work ethic, determination and ability to trust the process of going through the proper steps to get to the NHL, you have a great example for younger players. Teddy came to us with great expectations, and he’s worked hard to meet each one. He has great hockey sense, he loves to compete and he’s a true professional.
Blueger, 24, finally got his chance at the NHL level in 2018-19 after three seasons in the minor leagues where he was routinely one of the best offensive players on the ice. A second round pick from 2012 he finally made an impact for Pittsburgh, scoring ten points in 28 games during the regular season. With the Penguins’ attack set to look a little different this year after the departure of Phil Kessel, Blueger will still have to fight for playing time thanks to newcomers Alex Galchenyuk and Brandon Tanev. He’ll almost certainly be on the roster, but with so many legitimate NHL forwards the lineup could shake out in several different ways.
That’s nothing new for Blueger, who has had to work hard just to even get to this point. Grinding through four years at college and three more in the minor leagues just to earn a little over 11 minutes a night in the NHL has secured him some career security for the next two years, but there is still more work to do if he wants to become that integral part of a playoff team.