The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have re-signed defensemen Matt Abt and Jon Lizotte to AHL contracts for the 2019-20 season, the team announced on Wednesday.
Abt, 25, first joined the Penguins' organization at the end of the 2017-18 season following the conclusion of his senior year at RIT, signing a tryout with the Nailers. 2018-19 was his first full professional season and he spent the entire year in the AHL.
Abt is lean at 180 pounds, but he’s still a heavy hitter. He has a long reach, thanks to his 6-foot-4 frame, and he’s a good skater period, not just a good skater for his size. His plus-7 rating was third among Wilkes-Barre defensemen, and his 12 assists in 63 games ranked fourth among defensemen.
Lizotte, 24, was a free agent invite to the Penguins’ development camp last summer. In an interview with the Grand Forks Herald, Lizotte said that while he received interest from multiple teams throughout the year, the Penguins indicated the most interest. When his college career at St. Cloud State ended, Lizotte joined Wilkes-Barre on an amateur tryout contract.
He appeared in three games with Wilkes-Barre in the spring, recording one goal and one assist.
Lizotte, at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, is a shutdown defenseman and a skilled penalty-killer. His one goal with Wilkes-Barre matched his output in all 39 games in college last season. He recorded a total of 10 goals and 36 assists in 147 games over his four college seasons.
Abt and Lizotte are the third and fourth defensemen Wilkes-Barre has signed to AHL deals this week after signingMacoy Erkamps and Blake Siebenaler on Monday.