The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Mark Letestu to a two-year contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
Letestu has played 65 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season. The 24-year old forward ranks third on the Penguins with 55 points (21 goals, 34 assists) and 34 assists while posting a plus-12 rating. He has surpassed his previous career highs in goals, assists and points with his offensive play this season. Letestu was awarded the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Northeastern Pennsylvania community during the 2008-09 season
The 5-11, 195-pound forward played his first full season as a professional during the 2007-08 season contributing 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) along with 28 penalty minutes in 52 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He has played 120 career games in the AHL, tallying 73 points (27 goals, 46 assists) and 34 penalty minutes. Letestu has made 14 career-playoff appearances with the Penguins, including 12 contests last season collecting three assists and helping Wilkes-Barre/Scranton advance to the Calder Cup Finals.
The native of Elk Point, Alberta, tied for sixth among all NCAA skaters in goals during the 2006-07 season. He tied for 14th in points, while his five shorthanded tallies led the entire nation. Letestu led all freshmen scorers across the NCAA in points, and was named the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Year.
Letestu played four seasons with the Bonnyville Pontiacs of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), leading the league in scoring with 105 points (50+55) in 58 games during the 2005-06 season. His performance led him to be named the AJHL Most Valuable Player. Letestu signed with Pittsburgh as a free agent on March 22, 2007.