The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Kevin Czuczman to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The contract is a two-way deal and it has an average annual value of $650,000 at the NHL level.
Czuczman (CHUHRCH-muhn), 26, broke into the NHL with the New York Islanders as an undrafted free agent following a three-year collegiate career at Lake Superior State. He jumped into the NHL immediately upon signing in 2013-14, collecting two assists in 13 games with the Islanders.
Last year, the Port Elgin, Ontario native spent the season with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League, where he served as an alternate captain. Czuczman posted the best offensive numbers of his pro career, leading all Manitoba blueliners with 32 points (9G-23A) in 76 games.
A 6-foot-2, 206-pound defender, Czuczman played the majority of the ’14-15 and ’15-16 seasons with the Islanders’ AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In three-plus professional seasons, Czuczman 54 points (14G-40A) in 200 career AHL regular-season games, plus AHL playoff appearances, split between Manitoba and Bridgeport.
As a junior in his final year at Lake Superior State in ’13-14, Czuczman was named to the All-WCHA Second Team after setting collegiate career highs in goals (10), assists (11) and points (21) in 36 games played. His 10 goals that year were tied for second-most among all NCAA defensemen. Czuczman was Lake Superior State’s “Most Valuable Defenseman” as a sophomore and its “Most Outstanding Freshman” in his debut campaign.