The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed forward Janne Pesonen to a one-year contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.
Pesonen led the Finnish Elite League last season, recording 78 points (34 goals, 44 assists) in 56 games with the Oulu Karpat. He contributed 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) during the post-season, helping lead Karpat to its fifth league championship.
“Pesonen is a quick, skilled player that has had much success in the Finnish Elite League,” said Shero. “We look forward to watching him perform at his first NHL training camp.”
Pesonen, 26, played six games for the Finnish National Team during the 2007-08 campaign. He appeared in three games at the 2007 Karjala Cup, scoring one goal and also played in three games during the Sweden Hockey Games, posting three points (one goal, two assists) and six penalty minutes.
Pesonen has won four league championships with Karpat and was the playoff MVP in 2007, recording seven points (four goals, three assists) in nine games. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2003-04, notching 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) in 56 contests. Pesonen has played in 285 career games all in the Finnish Elite League, collecting 216 points (94 goals, 122 assists), along with 200 penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 62 playoff games, registering 31 points (18 goals, 13 assists) and 32 penalty minutes.
The 5-11, 180-pound native of Suomussalmi, Finland was originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the ninth round, 269th overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.