Penguins keep Staal, for now
Another Staal will be strapping on the blades in the NHL this season, at least for a little while.
Jordan Staal, 18-year-old brother of Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes, signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.
The second overall selection in the 2006 NHL entry draft had a strong training camp, recording one assist and six penalty minutes in pre-season action. A spot opened up on Pittsburgh's opening-day roster after highly touted rookie centre Evgeni Malkin suffered a shoulder injury in his first exhibition game.
Staal, a six-foot-four, 215-pound native of Thunder Bay, Ont., can play nine regular-season games before the Penguins have to decide to keep him in the big leagues or send him back to his major junior team, the OHL's Peterborough Petes.
After the 10th game, Staal's NHL contract kicks in for good.
Staal recorded 68 points (28 goals, 40 assists) in 68 games with the OHL's Peterborough Petes last season.
Hockey runs deep in the Staal family, with three of four brothers attached to NHL teams.
Eric, now 21, was chosen second overall at the 2003 draft and recorded 100 points in helping the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup title last season.
Younger brother, Marc, was the New York Rangers' 12th overall pick in the 2005 draft.The19-year-old stay-at-home defenceman was a leader on Canada's gold-medal-winning junior team last year and will captain the OHL's Sudbury Wolves this season.
The youngest, Jared, 16, who some say has the most potential of the Staal brothers, will play with Marc in Sudbury after being drafted by the Wolves last spring.