The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Nick Drazenovic (DRUH-zehn-oh-vihk) to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
Drazenovic’s contract is a two-way deal worth $550,000 at the NHL level.
Drazenovic, 26, split the 2012-13 season between the Columbus Blue Jackets and their top minor-league affiliate, the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League (AHL). Drazenovic competed in eight NHL games with Columbus.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Drazenovic spent the majority of the ’12-13 season with Springfield, establishing career highs in assists (36) and points (53) in 62 regular-season games. His 53 points ranked second on the team and 17th in the AHL. He added four points (2G-2A) in eight postseason games.
A native of Prince George, British Columbia, Drazenovic was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the sixth round (171st overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut with the Blues during the 2010-11 season, playing three games. Drazenovic has played a total of 11 career NHL regular-season games with St. Louis and Columbus.
Drazenovic has played six seasons at the AHL level with Springfield and the Peoria Rivermen, totaling 254 points (100G-154A) in 381 career regular-season games. He has reached double digits in goals all six seasons, and he has surpassed the 40-point plateau four times. Drazenovic has six points (3G-3A) in 17 career postseason games.
Prior to turning pro Drazenovic played five seasons with the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 2002-07, registering 77 goals, 137 assists and 214 points in 281 regular-season games.
Drazenovic’s best junior season came in ’05-06 when he tallied career highs in goals (30) and points (63). During the 2007 WHL playoffs, he finished third in the league with 19 points (9G-10A) in 15 games.