The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed terms with free agent striker Evan Rodrigues for a one-year contract, executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford announced today.
The one-way deal will last for the 2020-21 season and has an average annual value of $ 700,000 at the NHL level.
“We were delighted with Evan’s play during his short stint with us last season,” said Rutherford. “His versatility and ability to play all three forward positions, particularly in the middle, is an asset that gives us options and adds depth to our forward group.”
Rodrigues, 27, returns to the Penguins after being traded to the Maple Leafs as part of the deal. He was originally acquired by Pittsburgh from the Buffalo Sabers on February 24, 2020 and appeared in seven regular-season games for the Penguins, scoring one goal. It was also used for Pittsburgh penalty kicks, where he averaged 1:53 minutes per short game, the team’s third-highest average among forwards since he was acquired.
Before joining Pittsburgh, Rodrigues scored nine points (5G-4A) in 38 games with the Sabers in 2019-20.
He enjoyed a career season with Buffalo in 2018-19, scoring nine goals, 20 assists and 29 points. He also led all Sabers skaters in 2018-19 with three shorthanded points (3A).
The 5-foot-11, 184-pound Rodrigues has adapted for 199 career NHL games, where he recorded 27 goals, 45 assists and 72 points. At the AHL level, the Toronto, Ontario native has 70 points (23G-47A) in 128 career games with the Rochester Americans.
Rodrigues initially signed with Buffalo as an unenrolled free agent after an outstanding collegiate career with Boston University from 2011 to 2015. Over the course of four seasons, Rodrigues collected 121 points (42G-79A) in 146 games. He served as an alternate captain for the Terriers in ’14-15, helping them to the NCAA Hockey East Championship. That season, only teammate Jack Eichel (71) finished with more points than Rodrigues’ 61 (21G-40A) in all D1 college hockey.