The 22-year-old Despres appeared in a career-high 22 games for the Penguins last season, finishing with five assists. He scored six goals and added 16 assists in 36 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. His plus/minus ratio of plus-19 led the team.
Despres struggled to stay in the lineup under former Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, but will have a chance to play regularly after the team lost veteran defencemen Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen in free agency.
I'm sure [my father] was going crazy up there. I hope all of my friends were celebrating in the crowd. Coming back here and all of my friends and family are here, getting a goal in front of them is special.
— Blues forward Ryan Reaves on scoring the game-winning goal Sunday against the Jets in his hometown of Winnipeg