The Ducks have signed defenseman Simon Despres
to a five-year contract extension through the 2020-21 NHL season.
Despres, 24 (7/27/91), has scored 6-33=39 points with a +29 rating and 142 penalty minutes (PIM) in 160 career NHL games with the Ducks and Pittsburgh Penguins. Despres, who was acquired from the Penguins in exchange for defenseman Ben Lovejoy on Mar. 2, 2015, has also earned 1-6=7 points with eight PIM in 22 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.
“I’m really happy to be here for another five years," said Despres. "It’s a great team, great city, great fans and a great environment to play hockey. I’m very pleased to play here a long time. It’s not something that would’ve worried me. I’m happy for my family, I’m happy for me and my wife. It’s going to be an exciting time for us for the next five years. I’m looking forward to winning a couple of Stanley Cups."
Selected by Pittsburgh in the first round (30th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, Despres combined for 3-20=23 points with a +11 rating and 86 PIM in 75 games with the Ducks and Penguins last season. The 6-4, 218-pound defenseman set career highs in all major offensive categories, including goals, assists, points, plus/minus and games played. Following his Mar. 2 acquisition, Despres collected 1-5=6 points with a +2 rating and 22 PIM in Anaheim’s final 16 regular season games. He made his third career appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2015, earning 1-6=7
points with a +4 rating and six PIM in 16 games. Despres ranked tied for third among NHL defensemen in postseason takeaways (11) and second among team blueliners in hits (43) and third in blocked shots (30).
A native of Laval, Quebec, Despres won silver with Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship after picking up three assists (0-3=3) along with a +7 rating in seven tournament games. He played four QMJHL seasons with Saint John from 2007-11, collecting 25-109=134 points with a +89 rating and 245 PIM. Despres was named the league’s Best Defenseman in 2010-11 after leading Saint John to a 2011 Memorial Cup title and QMJHL Championship.