The Pittsburgh Penguins have decided that Stefan Noesen has done enough at the minor league level this season to earn an NHL deal. The team has signed the veteran forward to a one-year, two-way contract that carries an average annual value of $700K. Noesen will report immediately to Pittsburgh, who placed Joseph Blandisi on waivers earlier today.
Noesen, 26, has been tearing is up this season for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, scoring 14 goals and 22 points in 22 games while taking 58 minutes in penalties. The former Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils forward has 159 NHL games under his belt but decided to sign an AHL deal with the Penguins in the fall after failing to find an opportunity elsewhere.
Originally selected 21st overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2011, Noesen was actually part of the package that landed the team Bobby Ryan. After struggling to find much success in short NHL stints in Anaheim, he was picked off waivers by the Devils and given his first full-time opportunity. That led to a 13-goal, 27-point campaign in 2017-18, but things haven’t gone as smoothly since.
The Penguins lost Patric Hornqvist again today when he took a tumble in practice, meaning they’ll need even more help up front moving forward. For a team that has had so many injuries this season, perhaps Noesen can carve out a regular role.