Pens re-sign defenseman John Marino to a six-year, $26.4 million contract extension

Pens re-sign defenseman John Marino to a six-year, $26.4 million contract extension
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 12: John Marino #6 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in action during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 12, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. The Penguins defeated the Coyotes 4-3 in an overtime shootout. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed defenseman John Marino to a six-year contract extension valued at $26.4 million, the team announced Sunday.

The deal begins with the 2021-22 season and runs through the 2026-27 season, carrying an average annual value of $4.4 million. Marino has one year remaining on his entry-level deal.

“We are very fortunate to have a young, skilled defenseman like John in our organization,” executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford said. “His rookie season proved he is a top-four defenseman with great hockey sense. We were impressed with his strong defensive play and look forward to watching him develop offensively.”

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Marino, 23, is coming off of a rookie season where he suited up for 56 games, finishing with 6 goals and 20 assists for 26 points, and was tied for a team-best plus-17 rating despite missing 11 games with facial bone fractures. His goal, assist and point totals all ranked second among team defensemen, while his 26 points were fourth-best among all rookie defensemen, trailing only Quinn Hughes, Adam Fox, and Calder Trophy (NHL Rookie of the Year) recipient Cale Makar.

The team said Marino historically had one of the best seasons by a rookie defenseman in team history during the 2019-20 season. He is one of just seven rookie defensemen in Penguins’ history to record 20 assists and 26 points, and the six-game point streak he strung together from Nov. 16-27, 2019 is tied for the second-longest point streak in franchise history by a first-year defenseman.

Marino, a native of North Easton, Massachusetts, made his postseason debut with Pittsburgh during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, appearing in four games in the Penguins’ series against the Montreal Canadiens, where he registered one assist.

The Penguins acquired Marino from Edmonton in exchange for a conditional 2021 sixth-round draft pick on July 26, 2019. He was originally drafted by the Oilers in the sixth round (154th overall) of the 2015 NHL draft, and enjoyed a standout collegiate career with Harvard University of the ECAC Conference from 2016-19, tallying 7 goals and 35 assists for  42 points in 101 career games.

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