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Penguins Re-Sign Defenseman Juuso Riikola to a Two-Year Contract

by Pittsburgh Penguins @penguins / Media Release

The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed defenseman Juuso Riikola to a two-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

The deal runs through the 2021-22 campaign and carries an average annual value of $1.15 million.

"When he is on his game, Juuso has shown the ability to be a solid contributor for our team," said Rutherford. "We feel he is going to take the next step forward in his development."

Riikola, 26, played in 36 games for the Penguins in 2019-20, including four games as a forward due to various injuries to the Penguins lineup. In his second season with the Penguins, Riikola recorded one goal, six assists, seven points and a plus-3. The defenseman's season was highlighted by his first career multi-point game (1G-1A) and career-high plus-4 on Dec. 27 at Nashville.

In his two NHL seasons, the Joensuu, Finland native has dressed in 73 games, scoring three goals, nine assists and 12 points with a plus-6. During his rookie season in 2018-19, the Penguins went 22-10-5 with Riikola in the lineup.

The 6-foot, 189-pound blueliner skated with KalPa for six seasons in Finland's top professional league, Liiga, before making his debut in North America with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League in 2018-19. In 283 career games with KalPa, Riikola recorded 26 goals, 63 assists and 89 points. He served as an alternate captain for KalPa for three consecutive seasons (2015-18).

Riikola has also represented Finland internationally, where he had two assists and a plus-four in eight contests at the 2018 World Championship. 

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