Pittsburgh signs Goligoski to multi-year deal

wbs_200.jpgThe Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Alex Goligoski to a three-year contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manger Ray Shero.

Goligoski, 23, was the third-leading scorer among NHL rookie defensemen in 2008-09 with 20 points in 45 games (6-14-20). He appeared in two games in the Stanley Cup playoffs, recording one assist.

The 5-11, 180-pound native of Grand Rapids, MN also played 26 games for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, registering two goals and 16 assists for 18 points.

“Alex is a skilled young defenseman and a tremendous skater, and we are pleased to sign him to a multi-year deal as we continue to build our young core,” Shero said. “He gained some valuable experience this season and made contributions to our Stanley Cup run. He is another example of a great future here in Pittsburgh.”

Goligoski made his NHL debut in 2007-08, playing three games for the Penguins and picking up two assists, although he spent most of his rookie pro season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. In the 2008 Calder Cup playoffs, he set an AHL record for points in a playoff season by a defenseman with 28 and ranked second overall in AHL playoff scoring.

Goligoski was a standout for three seasons at the University of Minnesota, and was named First-Team All-America, First-Team All-WCHA and WCHA Defensive Player of the Year as a junior in 2006-07.

He was the Penguins’ second-round pick, 61st overall, in 2004.