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PITTSBURGH SIGNS FOUR TO TWO-WAY DEALS

The Pittsburgh Penguins signed four players to NHL-AHL Two Way Deals on the first day of Free Agency, including two familiar faces for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fans.

Bobby Farnham WBS Penguins HockeyForwards Bobby Farnham (one year deal), Chris Conner (one year deal), Nick Drazenovic (one year deal) and Andrew Ebbett (two year deal) were all inked to contracts on Friday.

Farnham, 24, split the 2012-13 season – his first full season as a professional – between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL.

The 5-foot-10, 187-pound Farnham played a majority of the campaign with WBS, totaling three goals, eight assists, 11 points and 274 penalty minutes in 65 AHL regular-season contests. His penalty-minute total ranked third in the AHL and first among rookies. Farnham also appeared in four postseason contests for WBS.

Before joining WBS full-time in November, Farnham appeared in nine games with Wheeling, tallying three goals, four points and 46 penalty minutes.

A native of North Andover, Massachusetts, Farnham made his professional debut at the tail end of the 2011-12 campaign, suiting up for a total of six games with the Providence Bruins and Worcester Sharks of the AHL.

Farnham played four seasons of college hockey at Brown University from 2008-12, finishing his college career with 54 points (23G-31A) and 128 penalty minutes in 129 games.

An alternate captain during his senior year, Farnham won the New England Unsung Hero Award in ’11-12 and he was named to the ECAC All-Academic Team in ’08-09.

Chris Conner WBS PenguinsConner, 29, re-joins the Pittsburgh organization for the second time, having first played with the team during the 2009-10 and ’10-11 seasons. Conner played in 68 NHL games with the Penguins during his first stint, registering nine goals, 10 assists and 19 points. He also had one goal in eight postseason contests.

A native of Westland, Michigan, Conner’s best season with the Penguins was ’10-11 when he established NHL career highs for games played (60), goals, (7), assists (9) and points (16).

During his time in the Pittsburgh organization, Conner also played in 70 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, totaling 22 goals, 43 assists and 65 points. His 19 goals, 37 assists and 56 points in ’09-10 with WBS were all AHL career highs. His point total placed second on WBS that year.

The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Conner split the 2012-13 season with the Phoenix Coyotes and their top minor-league team, the Portland Pirates. Conner tallied two points (1G-1A) and a plus-3 rating in 12 regular-season games with Phoenix. He added 40 points (13G-27A) in 60 regular-season games with Portland, and one assist in one postseason game.

Originally signed by the Dallas Stars as an undrafted free agent, Conner has played 159 career NHL games with Dallas, Pittsburgh, Detroit and Phoenix, registering 18 goals, 27 assists and 45 points. Conner has one goal in nine career NHL playoff games.

He has 267 career regular-season points (101G-166A) in 335 AHL games, and 14 points (5G-9A) in 24 postseason contests.

Conner played four years of collegiate hockey at Michigan Tech from 2002-06, scoring 129 points (69G-60A) in 151 games. Twice during his career he won the Merv Youngs Award as team MVP (’03-04; ’05-06). Conner was named a WCHA Second-Team All-Star in 2004.

Nick Drazenovic WBS PenguinsDrazenovic, 26, split the 2012-13 season between the Columbus Blue Jackets and their top minor-league affiliate, the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League (AHL). Drazenovic competed in eight NHL games with Columbus.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Drazenovic spent the majority of the ’12-13 season with Springfield, establishing career highs in assists (36) and points (53) in 62 regular-season games. His 53 points ranked second on the team and 17th in the AHL. He added four points (2G-2A) in eight postseason games.

A native of Prince George, British Columbia, Drazenovic was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the sixth round (171st overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut with the Blues during the 2010-11 season, playing three games. Drazenovic has played a total of 11 career NHL regular-season games with St. Louis and Columbus.

Drazenovic has played six seasons at the AHL level with Springfield and the Peoria Rivermen, totaling 254 points (100G-154A) in 381 career regular-season games. He has reached double digits in goals all six seasons, and he has surpassed the 40-point plateau four times. Drazenovic has six points (3G-3A) in 17 career postseason games.

Prior to turning pro Drazenovic played five seasons with the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 2002-07, registering 77 goals, 137 assists and 214 points in 281 regular-season games.

Drazenovic’s best junior season came in ’05-06 when he tallied career highs in goals (30) and points (63). During the 2007 WHL playoffs, he finished third in the league with 19 points (9G-10A) in 15 games.

Andrew Ebbett WBS PenguinsEbbett, 30, has played the past two seasons in the Vancouver Canucks organization. He played in 28 regular-season games during the 2012-13 campaign, notching six points (1G-5A). Ebbett also appeared in two postseason games, posting an even rating.

The 5-foot-10, 172-pound Ebbett also played in 37 regular-season games with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL) in ’12-13, totaling 11 goals, 21 assists and 32 points.

Ebbett, who hails from Vernon, British Columbia, has played parts of six NHL seasons with Anaheim, Chicago, Minnesota, Phoenix and Vancouver. His best season came in 2008-09 with Anaheim when he tallied 32 points (8G-24A) in 48 regular-season games and three points (1G-2A) in 13 playoff games. All of those numbers represented career highs.

Ebbett, who was originally signed by the Ottawa Senators as an undrafted free agent in 2006, has played in 191 career NHL regular-season games, posting 25 goals, 39 assists and 64 points. Ebbett has added three points (1G-2A) in 19 career playoff games.

Ebbett has spent time in the AHL with Binghamton, Portland, Iowa, San Antonio and Chicago, producing at nearly a point-per-game average at that level with 236 points (76G-160A) in 247 career regular-season games. He has 17 points (6G-11A) in 18 playoff games.

During the 2007-08 season with Portland, Ebbett established AHL career highs with 54 assists and 72 points – both team-leading figures. His assist total was sixth-most in the AHL, while his point total ranked 11th.

Before turning pro Ebbett played four seasons of collegiate hockey at the University of Michigan between 2002-06, tallying 137 points (32G-105A) in 167 games. Ebbett served as team captain as a senior in ’05-06, finishing second on the team with 42 points (14G-28A). He was a member of Michigan’s 2003 Frozen Four squad.

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