The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Cameron Gaunce to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal is a two-way contract that contains an average annual value of $575,000 at the NHL level.
Gaunce, 26, is coming off of a career year at the American Hockey League level with the Portland Pirates, where his 35 assists and 37 points in 75 games both represented the highest totals of his pro career, and ranked him 17th (tied) among all AHL D-men in scoring. The 2016 AHL All-Star was also an alternate captain for the Pirates.
The lefthanded-shooting native of Sudbury, Ontario has played in 20 career NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars, scoring one goal. He was originally selected by the Avalanche in the second round (50th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft.
During the 2014 Calder Cup playoffs, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound blueliner helped the Texas Stars win the championship, contributing four assists and a plus-6 in 18 postseason contests. He had three assists in the championship-clinching Game 5.
Gaunce has appeared in 419 career AHL regular-season games for Lake Erie, Texas and Portland, producing 19 goals, 115 assists and 134 points to accompany his plus-51. He has 34 career games of AHL playoff experience as well.
Prior to turning pro, Gaunce played three years of junior hockey with Mississauga of the Ontario Hockey League.