The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Jake Guentzel to a three-year, entry-level contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The two-way contract will begin with the 2016-17 season and runs through the 2018-19 campaign.
Guentzel, 21, joined the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on an amateur tryout contract late in the regular season this year, and quickly established himself as a quality point producer with six points (2G-4A) in 11 contests.
During the AHL playoffs, the 5-foot-10, 167-pound Guentzel took on a starring role for WBS, as his 14 points (5G-9A) in 10 games led the team and were second-highest in the entire league after the first two rounds.
Guentzel proved to be both consistent, tallying points in seven of 10 AHL playoff contests, and clutch, as he scored the series-clinching overtime goal in Game 3 versus Providence in the first round, and also set up Carter Rowney’s OT goal in Game 1 of that same series.
A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Guentzel played three years of college hockey at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, tallying 119 points (40G-79A) in 108 games, the sixth-highest point total in school history.
This year, the junior served as a co-captain, leading the team with a career-best 46 points (19G-27A) in 35 games. His point total was tied for 17th-best in the NCAA.
Guentzel, who was drafted by the Penguins in the third round (77th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, helped Nebraska-Omaha advance to the Frozen Four in ’14-15. As a freshman, he was named to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference All-Rookie Team while playing mostly on a line with fellow Penguins prospect Josh Archibald.
Before joining Nebraska-Omaha, Guentzel played one year with Sioux City of the United States Hockey League (USHL), producing 73 points (29G-44A) in 60 contests. That year he was named the league’s Rookie of the Year, and he earned spots on the All-Rookie Team and the Second All-Star Team.