CRANBERRY, Pa. -- Defenseman Steve Oleksy is back in the Penguins organization after signing a professional tryout contract with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the team announced on Friday.
AHL PTO contracts differ from NHL tryouts as players in the AHL can play up to 25 regular season games on a PTO.
Zach Trotman is expected to be out "longer-term" after undergoing sports hernia surgery during training camp, which created both a need for a veteran defenseman in Wilkes-Barre and an opening toward the team's veteran limit.
Oleksy, 33, is in his second stint in the Penguins' organization. Oleksy first signed an NHL deal with Pittsburgh in July 2015. He was an alternate captain for Wilkes-Barre that year, where he recorded two goals, 17 assists, and a plus-8 rating in 63 games. The Penguins re-signed Oleksy for the 2016-17 season, and he recorded one assist and a plus-2 rating in 11 games with Pittsburgh and one goal, four assists, and a plus-4 rating in 16 games with Wilkes-Barre before the Penguins sent Oleksy, Eric Fehr, and a fourth-round pick to the Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Frank Corrado.
Oleksy spent the remainder of the 2016-17 season with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. He signed an NHL deal with the Ducks in 2017, and spent a season and a half playing for the Ducks' AHL affiliate, the San Diego Gulls, before the Ducks traded Oleksy back to Toronto and he finished the season with the Marlies.
Wilkes-Barre played its first preseason game on Wednesday, a 4-1 home loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in which Jordy Bellerive scored the team's only goal. The Penguins will play another preseason game at home on Friday night against the Hershey Bears, then will play in Hershey on Saturday and at Lehigh Valley on Sunday.