Pittsburgh's first-round pick (No. 30) in the 2009 NHL Draft, Despres split last season between the Penguins and their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He had five assists in 34 games with Pittsburgh and six goals and 22 points in 35 AHL games. He had two goals and nine points in 17 Calder Cup playoff games.
The 22-year-old Quebec native has three goals and 16 points in 85 NHL regular-season games, and has played in six Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Despres won the Memorial Cup in 2011 with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and a silver medal with Canada at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.