The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed center Manny Malhotra to a three-year contract, club President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced Tuesday. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Malhotra, 26, registered 10 goals and 21 assists for 31 points with 41 penalty minutes and a +1 plus/minus rating in 58 games with the Blue Jackets during the 2005-06 season. He set career highs for assists and points despite missing 24 games due to a shoulder injury. He also ranked seventh in the NHL in face-off percentage (min. 500 attempts) at 56.3 percent.
"Manny is a young player who brings outstanding size and speed at the center position to our lineup and we're very excited to have him remain a part of the Blue Jackets organization," said MacLean. "He is a hard worker who wants to prove he is ready to take his game to the next level and he'll be given the chance do so with our hockey club."
A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Malhotra has appeared in 404 career NHL games, tallying 45-63-108 and 206 penalty minutes with the Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars and New York Rangers. He was claimed by Columbus off waivers from Dallas on Nov. 21, 2003 and has collected 22-34-56 and 65 penalty minutes in 114 games with the Blue Jackets.
Malhotra was the Rangers' first pick, seventh overall, at the 1998 Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut at the age of 18 during the 1998-99 season, tallying 8-8-16 and 13 penalty minutes in 73 games. He spent two seasons prior to that with Guelph of the Ontario Junior Hockey League where he registered 32-63-95 and 55 penalty minutes in 118 games. He also represented Canada at the 1998 and 2000 World Junior Championship Tournaments, serving as the team's captain and winning a bronze medal in 2000.