The Penguins have re-signed forward Joseph Cramarossa to a one-year contract, it was announced on Friday.
The contract is two-way, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. Cramarossa, 26, will require waivers to be assigned to the AHL in 2019-20.
Cramarossa had been playing for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on an AHL-level contract since being acquired in a trade in the middle of the 2017-18 season, and earned an NHL contract in February to finish out the 2018-19 season.
For more on Cramarossa's background, here's an in-depth feature I wrote on him in February.
“I knew, just at my age, I had to get to that next step sooner than later,” Cramarossa told me of earning last season's NHL deal at the time. “I’m happy that I was able to do that and they believed in me enough to reward me with that. It’s just the next step to actually getting up there. By no means is the work done, but it’s a nice step to getting back to the NHL.”
Cramarossa finished the year with four goals and 12 assists in 56 games with Wilkes-Barre:
Cramarossa also scored three shootout goals on four attempts during the season, two of which were game-winners:
Cramarossa's 116 penalty minutes led the team, and his six fights were the second-most on the team:
Some notable names on Cramarossa's career fight card include Tom Wilson, Steve Oleksy, and Steve Ott. In his one previous season in the NHL with the Ducks and Canucks in 2016-17, he dropped the gloves nine times.
I'd be surprised to see Cramarossa get more than a few NHL games next season. Wilkes-Barre has such a young group of forwards and Cramarossa has been a strong leader in the locker room since joining the team in 2017-18. He's a vocal guy and enjoys helping with the more inexperienced players. That's how he'll contribute the most on this contract. He's the early favorite to wear the "C" in Wilkes-Barre next season.