Pittsburgh signed free agent F Jayson Megna to a two-year entry level contract last Wednesday.
Megna, 22, made his name at Penguins Prospect Development Camp last month. The deal will pay him $925,000 AAV on a two-way basis.
The WCHA standout scored 31 points in 38 games at the University of Nebraska-Omaha last season.
A 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward, Megna excelled in all situations for Nebraska-Omaha, tying for third on the team with 10 power-play points (3G-7A) and ranking second on the squad with two shorthanded goals, while centering the Mavericks’ top line. Megna, who was teammates at Nebraska-Omaha with fellow freshman and Pittsburgh’s 2011 sixth-round draft pick Josh Archibald, posted a team-best plus-13 rating.
Prior to joining the Mavericks, Megna played two seasons with Cedar Rapids of the United States Hockey League (USHL) from 2009-11. Megna tallied 84 points (41G-43A) in 116 regular-season games with Cedar Rapids. He added seven points (4G-3A) in 13 postseason contests. During his final season in ’10-11, Megna played in the USHL All-Star Game and was an All-USHL First-Team selection while serving as team captain.
Megna's signing gives the Penguins even more depth at the AHL level, where the team has already added names like Benn Ferriero, Philippe Dupuis, Steve MacIntyre, Jeff Zatkoff, Dylan Reese and others this offseason.
Since acquiring C Brandon Sutter in the Jordan Staal trade and F Tanner Glass on July 1, the Penguins haven't picked up an everyday NHL starter in almost five weeks of free agency.
Pittsburgh very well may not acquire another starter this summer, and not just because of a talent-thin free agent pool that has been mostly picked over. Megna's signing gives the Penguins 48 professional contracts, two short of the NHL-limit of 50.
With restricted free agents F Eric Tangradi and D Alex Grant still expected to re-sign, the Penguins would have no contracts left to hand to would-be free agent signees.
Money should be no obstacle to the Pens. The team has nearly $10 million in available cap space, according to CapGeek.com.
That space, however, can fluctuate, and likely will given the uncertainty of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.
However, short of moving contracts that are already on the books or choosing not to re-sign their pending RFAs, the Penguins probably won't be adding much to the roster for the rest of this summer.
Given the tensions between the NHLPA and league owners, and the increasing likelihood of a lockout, Pittsburgh may be best suited to wait for the trade deadline to add to its roster.
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