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Photo: KDP Studio

Kostopoulos returning for 19th pro season

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have re-signed forward Tom Kostopoulos to an American Hockey League contract for the 2017-18 season.

Kostopoulos enters his 19th season of professional hockey and 11th year with the Penguins organization. The 38-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., had his most productive season in over a decade in 2016-17, leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in goals (24), points (54) and games played (74). His goals and points were the most he had recorded since the 2004-05 season.

A six-time captain for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Kostopoulos has appeared in 691 AHL games with the Penguins (1999-2004, 2012-17) and the Manchester Monarchs (2004-05), totaling 206 goals and 315 assists for 521 points. He is the Penguins’ all-time franchise leader in games played (627), goals (181), assists (269) and points (450), and is also first in the Penguins’ postseason rankings with 91 games played, 23 goals, 44 assists and 67 points.

Since beginning his pro career in 1999-2000 as a member of the inaugural Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins team, Kostopoulos has played in 1,321 regular-season matches between the AHL and National Hockey League. He is one of four players in hockey history with at least 600 games played in both leagues.

On Jan. 28, 2017, Kostopoulos became the 91st player in AHL history to reach 500 career points, and on Feb. 4, 2017, he became the 14th player in league history to have played in 600 regular-season games with one club.

In 630 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils, Kostopoulos has totaled 61 goals, 96 assists, 157 points and 723 penalty minutes.

Kostopoulos was originally drafted by Pittsburgh in the seventh round (204th overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.