Jan 3, 2011, 11:02 AM EDT
Coming up as a rookie defenseman with the Pittsburgh Penguins can both be a great opportunity and terrifying. Great because the team is a Stanley Cup contender but terrifying because if you’re not able to make the most of your opportunity, you might not get a shot to make an impression again. Making an impression is something Deryk Engelland has been able to do in a few ways this year and the Penguins have enjoyed his work so much they’ve signed him to a three-year contract extension. Engelland’s deal has a cap hit worth $566,700 over the term of the deal.
Engelland is a big, physical guy who has done his part in helping keep the ice safe for Penguins stars by efficiently disposing of opposing enforcers with his fists. Engelland’s work in straightening out the likes of Colton Orr, Jody Shelley, and Chris Neil made a great impression on his teammates, colleagues, and especially the fans.
Getting Engelland locked up beyond this season also means the Pens have all seven of their top blue liners signed past this season. The Pens defensive corps is as solid a group as it gets in the NHL. Penguins GM Ray Shero is clearly pleased with the group he’s got and there’s no reason to not be happy. With the emergence of Kris Letang, the steady play of Paul Martin, the defensive solidarity of Zbynek Michalek and Brooks Orpik, the Penguins have guys that all have a defined role there and they do it well. Taking care of the guys they’ve got are what helps make Pittsburgh as good a team as they are.
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