The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed three players who played key roles in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins finishing with the American Hockey League’s best regular-season record in 2016-17, it was announced Saturday by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
Forward Tom Sestito and defenseman Frank Corrado both signed one-year, two-way contracts. Goaltender Casey DeSmith inked a two-year, two-way deal, the first NHL contract of his career.
All three contracts contain an average annual value of $650,000 at the NHL level.
Sestito, 29, saw the most NHL action of the trio last season, skating in 13 regular-season games with Pittsburgh, where he picked up two assists and collected 48 penalty minutes. At the AHL level with WBS, Sestito had 16 points (6G-10A) and collected 121 penalty minutes in 33 games.
The 6-foot-5, 228-pound Sestito has spent the last two years with the Penguins organization. He has three assists and 67 penalty minutes in 17 NHL games. Sestito has added 30 points (11G-19A) and 225 penalty minutes in 74 AHL regular-season contests with WBS, plus five points (2G-3A) in 12 AHL postseason games.
Corrado, 24, was acquired by the Penguins from the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 1 in a deal that sent Eric Fehr and Steve Oleksy, plus a 2017 fourth-round draft pick, to the Leafs. Corrado saw most of his action with WBS after his arrival, but he did suit up for two regular-season games with Pittsburgh in March.
A 6-foot, 205-pound right-handed defenseman, Corrado appeared in 17 regular-season games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, notching four points (1G-3A) and a plus-3. He also played in one postseason game. A 2011 fifth-round (150th overall) draft pick by the Vancouver Canucks, Corrado has suited up for 71 NHL regular-season games with the Canucks, Maple Leafs and Penguins, picking up eight points (3G-5A).
DeSmith, 25, earned his first NHL contract after leading all AHL netminders with a 2.01 goals-against average. DeSmith went 21-5-4 with one shutout and a .926 save percentage in 29 regular-season games. His save percentage tied for second-best in the AHL. He was one-half of the AHL’s best goaltending duo alongside Tristan Jarry. The two combined to win the Harry ‘Hap’ Holmes Memorial Award, which is awarded to the goaltenders that post the lowest goals-against average in the AHL.
A 6-foot, 180-pound Rochester, New Hampshire native, DeSmith was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team.
An undrafted free agent, DeSmith has appeared in 35 career AHL regular-season contests, compiling an overall record of 23-7-3 to go with his 2.00 goals-against average and .926 save percentage.
During the last two AHL playoff runs, DeSmith has assumed the starting role for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with Jarry backing up at the NHL level both years. DeSmith has gone 7-7 with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.
Before joining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, DeSmith played three seasons of college hockey at the University of New Hampshire, where he made the Hockey East All-Rookie Team as a freshman. DeSmith also saw action with the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League for two seasons before advancing to the collegiate level.