Defenseman Ty Smith, a restricted free agent, has signed a one-year contract to stay with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The deal carries a salary-cap hit of $775,000.
Smith, 23, had one goal and three assists in nine games with the Penguins in 2022-23. He also put up seven goals and 17 assists in 39 games with their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.
He was acquired last summer from New Jersey, where he earned a spot on the NHL’s All-Rookie team in 2020-21. Smith was the Devils’ first-round draft choice in 2018.
He was waivers-exempt last season, which probably is at least part of the reason he was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. That exemption no longer is in effect, and Smith, whose forte is offense, is expected to challenge for a permanent spot on the major-league roster this fall.
The other left-handed defensemen in the mix for those spots are Ryan Graves, Marcus Pettersson and P.O Joseph. It’s conceivable that the Pittsburgh Penguins would trade one of their left-side defensemen rather than risk losing him on waivers.