The Penguins have re-signed forward Joseph Blandisi to a one-year, two-way contract extension worth $700,000 at the NHL level.
Blandisi, who turns 25 later this month, was a restricted free agent. He was originally acquired from the Ducks’ organization in January in the Derek Grant trade.
Blandisi saw success at the AHL level with nine goals and 11 assists in 27 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but he did little to stand out during his short time with Pittsburgh. He recorded no points, an even plus/minus, seven total shots, and an average time on ice of 5:51 over six games with Pittsburgh.
“I think everybody here, the staff and the players, made it pretty easy on me,” Blandisi told me of the adjustment to Wilkes-Barre after the trade. “They welcomed me in with open arms and I feel like I’m finding my game here. I got put in a bigger role than I was in in San Diego. I’m just trying to take that on and make the most of it.”
Blandisi, 6-feet and 185 pounds, plays a fast game, and can bring energy to the lineup while agitating the opponent. He played both center and wing in Wilkes-Barre and says he has no preference as to which position he plays. He believed his speed made him a good fit for the Penguins organization.
“They got lots of fast players up (in Pittsburgh) with lots of skill, and they’ve been playing a fast game for years now. It’s been working for them,” he told me in February. “So I think I can fit that part, hopefully I get an opportunity.”
Blandisi played in 74 career NHL games prior to being acquired by the Penguins. He appeared in 68 games with the Devils and six with the Ducks since turning pro in 2015-16.
Here’s a film breakdown on Blandisi’s time in the NHL before joining the Penguins, and here’s a feature I did in February after speaking to Blandisi about a rare virus he contracted in the 2013-14 season that had him worried that his professional career was over before it even started.