Winger Jake Guentzel, who has become a go-to linemate for Sidney Crosby, has signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins that will kick in next season. That is a cap hit of $6 million per season.
Guentzel, 24, had been scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this season. His new contract will take him two years beyond when he would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency.
He has gained a lot of attention for his production in the postseason, particularly the 2017 Stanley Cup run when he was the league’s postseason leader with 13 goals. In the playoffs last spring, he 10 goals, 21 points in 12 games.
In a news release, general manager Jim Rutherford called Guentzel “a core player,” a high honor on a team with Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Phil Kessel.
Going into Thursday night’s game against Detroit, Guentzel has 15 goals, 33 points in 36 games this season.
He was a third-round draft pick, taken 77th overall, in 2013.