The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Bryan Rust to a four-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
The deal runs through the 2021-22 campaign, and it carries an average annual value of $3.5 million.
Rust, 26, finished off a career year in the 2017-18 regular season, setting highs in assists (25) and points (38) in 69 games. He had three goals in 12 playoff games during the 2018 postseason. Rust played some of his best hockey in the second half, when he returned from injury on January 23 and proceeded to record 20 points (9G-11A) and a plus-17 over his final 31 games. Three of his nine goals in that span were game-winners.
Already a two-time Stanley Cup champion, the 5-foot-11, 192-pound Rust has proven to be a clutch playoff performer with 11 points (10G-1A) in 18 career playoff elimination games. He added to that stat in the 2018 playoffs, scoring goals against Philadelphia in Games 5 and 6 during the Penguins' First Round series victory.
A native of Pontiac, Michigan, Rust had a helping hand in a pair of Stanley Cups, scoring the series-clinching game-winning goals against Columbus and Washington in the 2017 postseason. He also scored both of Pittsburgh's goals in the 2-1 Game 7 defeat of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2016 Eastern Conference Final. He became the fourth player in NHL history to have his first three career game-winners clinch a series. His six goals in the 2016 postseason run are second-most by a rookie in club history.
Rust has 21 points (16G-5A) in 58 career playoff games with Pittsburgh, where a quarter of his playoff goals have been game-winners. Rust has 79 points (33G-46A) in 181 career regular-season games with the Penguins. He has improved his offensive totals in each of his three seasons.
Rust was drafted by Pittsburgh in the third round (80th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft. Before turning pro, he spent four seasons at Notre Dame, where he won the team's Unsung Hero Award as a senior.