The Pittsburgh Penguins officially landed one of the top prizes of the college free agent crop on Tuesday. The Penguins signed 6-foot-3, Drew O’Connor to a two-year entry-level contract, according to GM Jim Rutherford.
O’Connor was undrafted at 18-years-old, but he was also 5-foot-8, at the time. In the last three years, O’Connor grew seven inches and has grown in leaps and bounds as a player at Dartmouth University.
“Drew is a powerful skater with good hands, which helped him have a very good year at Dartmouth,” said Rutherford. “We are very happy Drew has joined the Penguins as we feel he can help our NHL club sooner rather than later.”
The two-year contract begins next season and runs through 2022.
Drew O’Connor’s season at Dartmouth ended on March 7 with an ECAC Hockey First Round loss to Princeton. He will report to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on an amateur tryout contract for the remainder of the season.
O’Connor, 21, had 33 points including 21 goals in 31 games this season, which was his sophomore season. His 21 goals ranked fifth in the NCAA.
The forward was named the NCAA Ivy-League Player of the Year and was also selected to the All-Ivy League First Team. In 2018-19, O’Connor was named to the All-Ivy League Second Team he led Dartmouth with 17 goals in 34 games.
In 65 career games, he scored 59 points (38g, 21a).
Signing O’Connor was a bit of a steal for the Penguins. O’Connor is a New Jersey native and before attending Dartmouth, he played for the Jr. Bruins of the National Collegiate Development Conference in the U.S. Premier Hockey League.
Other Penguins undrafted college free agents include Zach Aston-Reese and Conor Sheary. Justin Schultz was one too, but originally signed with the Oilers.