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Penguins Sign Depth Role Player Drake Caggiula



Pittsburgh Penguins, Drake Caggiula

After the hoopla of admitting he has too many defensemen during his Day 1 of NHL free agency press conference on Wednesday evening, Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ron Hextall signed depth role player Drake Caggiula to a one-year, two-way contract on Wednesday night.

The deal pays $750,000 at the NHL level. To this point in his career, Caggiula has exclusively played in the NHL.

Caggiula was a formerly heralded college free agent from North Dakota (2012-2016), though his NHL career has not taken off. Out of college, he chose the Edmonton Oilers, and has since played for the Oilers, Chicago Blackhawks, Arizona Coyotes, and spent the last two seasons with the Buffalo Sabres.

Concussions have also limited his career.

Caggiula, 28, played in 18 games with the Buffalo Sabres last season. He had five points (2-3-5) and was a minus-4.

In 278 NHL games, the forward with decent speed has 46 goals and 91 points. In his first two years in Edmonton, he was a secondary penalty killer, though subsequent teams have lessened his shorthanded role. Over the last three seasons, Caggiula has played between 23 and 26 minutes shorthanded per season.

Caggiula adds an interesting fourth-line option for head coach Mike Sullivan and will likely compete with Penguins prospects such as Drew O’Connor, Radim Zohorna, and Filip Hallander for a spot in the lineup.

From the Pittsburgh Penguins’ release

The undrafted forward’s best NHL season came in 2017-18 with Edmonton when he recorded career highs in games played (67), goals (13) and points (20).

The 5-foot-10, 176-pound forward has suited up for 21 career NHL playoff games, recording four goals, two assists and six points.

Prior to turning professional, the Pickering, ON native played at the University of North Dakota from 2012-16. In 162 career collegiate games, Caggiula tallied 62 goals, 65 assists and 127 points. As an alternate captain in 2015-16, he helped North Dakota to the National Championship and was named the tournament’s MVP and to the All-Tournament Team.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Alan Smith
30 days ago

Nice to see more thugs and hitters being considered! Jake, Rust, Sid, Malkin, Rickard,and many others on the defensive side never ever hit or body anyone! Carolina, Tampa, Rangers and the entire east all push others around! I love the speed and the excitement of the offense but the Av’s were the same kind of team and took shot for shot in the Cup play! Think the Pens are all afraid to get hurt! End result is Sid and Rickard both getting taken out of play! Please someone hit someone, please someone fight someone! Can’t win on speed and grace… Read more »

30 days ago
Reply to  Alan Smith

Rust, sid, an Rakell definitely throw hits haha

28 days ago

Hes right, when sid went down that piece of trash should have been tackled and beat. Years ago when mario and Jager played together, Mario was getting pushed around refs were looking the other way. He finally lost it tackled the guy gave him some hands, refs other team announcers were shocked. But he took care of business if we had an enforcer then or now things might not get to that PK Suppan is a free agent

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