Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero announced today that the Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed defenseman Ryan Whitney to a six-year contract. In addition, the team re-signed defenseman Rob Scuderi.
Whitney, 25, recorded career-highs in all offensive categories, collecting 14 goals, 45 assists for 59 points, while appearing in a career-high 81 games in his second NHL season. He finished tied for fifth in scoring among NHL defensemen and fifth overall on the club.
“Signing Ryan was a high priority for us this off-season,” Shero said. “He is an essential part of the long-term future plan for our hockey club and a huge part of our core group of young players. Ryan made a difference for us last season, while making significant progress and we are looking forward to his continued success in Pittsburgh for years to come.”
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman finished fourth on the club, while posting a career-high 33 points on the power play. He tied Evgeni Malkin with 24 assists on the power play, while notching nine of his 14 goals with the man advantage. He posted a plus-or-even rating in 57 of his 81 games, ranking fourth on the team with a plus-nine rating overall.
Whitney appeared 89 career contests with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins before joining Pittsburgh on a full-time basis during the 2005-06 season. He registered 55 points (11 goals, 44 assists) during his stint with Wilkes-Barre and was the first Wilkes-Barre rookie to play in all 80 games since the 1999-00 season.
Prior to joining Wilkes-Barre, Whitney played three seasons at Boston University, playing in 107 career games for the Eagles recording 16 goals and 43 assists. He led the team in scoring during his final season with 25 points, ranking second on the team with 16 assists.
Whitney has skated in 149 career NHL contests with Pittsburgh, collecting 97 points (20 goals, 77 assists), along with 162 career penalty minutes. The Scituate, Massachusetts native was drafted by the Penguins in the first round, fifth overall, in the 2002 NHL Draft.
Scuderi, 28, skated in 78 contests with the Penguins during the 2006-07 season collecting a career-high 11 points (one goal, 10 assists). He finished the season ranking third on the club in shorthanded ice-time and completed the season with a plus-three rating overall. He also ranked fifth on the team with 109 blocked shots. Scuderi has appeared in 148 career NHL contests recording 18 points (two goals, 16 assists), along with 68 penalty minutes.
The, 6-0, 215-pound defenseman joined the Penguins organization in 2001, after completing four seasons at Boston College where he finished as the school’s all-time games played leader with 168. He helped lead Boston College to an NCAA Championship in the 2000-01 season and was named to the All-Tournament Team. The Syosset, New York native was originally selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round (134th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.