The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will be moving into the winter without their leading scorer.
Forward Stefan Noesen received a well-deserved NHL contract from Pittsburgh on Monday, a deal that runs through the end of this season and has an average annual value worth $700,000 at the NHL level. He has already arrived in Pittsburgh to report.
Noesen signed an AHL contract with the Penguins right before the season started and proceeded to go on a tear, scoring 14 goals and recording 22 points in as many games. He has been a mainstay on the team’s top line, a key component on the power play and an alternate captain that served as one of the leaders in the dressing room.
Noesen has 45 points over 159 previous NHL games. He played with the New Jersey Devils for the entirety of last season, but was severely hindered by a knee injury. He has cited one of his reasons for signing with WIlkes-Barre/Scranton was the chance to play under his former head coach, Mike Vellucci, who promised to help the former first-round pick get his game back to its highest level.
Pittsburgh also placed forward Joseph Blandisi on waivers Monday, likely in an effort to make room for Noesen.
DeSmith receives AHL honor
Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith was named the AHL’s Goaltender of the Month for November, the league announced on Monday.
DeSmith went 7-1 with a 1.60 goals-against average and .951 save percentage, helping the Penguins string together a six-game win streak and climb their way up the Atlantic Division standings.
The 28-year-old is the seventh goaltender in team history to receive the honor. With his victory on Saturday, he also moved into fourth place on the team’s all-time win list with 49.
Tyler Piccotti has covered the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for Times-Shamrock newspapers since 2017. In the Penguins Insider blog, he provides a look at NEPA’s only professional hockey team, sharing analysis and insights that go beyond the game sheet. A 2015 graduate of Syracuse University, he also has written for Bleacher Report, The Post-Standard and Lacrosse Magazine. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-821-2000; @CVPiccotti