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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-assigned defenseman Noah Welch to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, it was announced today by General Manager Craig Patrick.

Welch, 23, was recalled on March 24 to replace Penguins’ defenseman Eric Cairns who was suspended by the league for three games.  Welch made his NHL debut on March 24 in a 4-3 overtime win against the New York Islanders.  He recorded his first point, an assist, in that game on Sergei Gonchar’s second period goal.  Welch, then, notched his first goal two games later in a 6-5 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on March 26.  He appeared in three games while with the parent Penguins, recording four points (1+3) and a plus-2 rating. 

The 6-4 and 215-pound defenseman has appeared in 68 games this season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 26 points (8+18), 81 penalty minutes and a plus-12 rating.  He leads all Penguins’ defensemen in scoring and ranks third among team rookies in points.  He is sixth on the team in penalty minutes and sixth with a plus-12 rating.

The native of Brighton, Massachusetts was drafted by the Penguins in the second round (54th overall) of the 2001 draft.

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