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Penguins bring back Uxbridge’s Corey Andonovski on a one-year deal


DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard


The Pittsburgh Penguins have secured forward Corey Andonovski for another year with a one-year contract valued at $775,000. Andonovski, originally from Uxbridge, Ontario, has yet to make his National Hockey League (NHL) debut despite showing promise in the American Hockey League (AHL).

During his second full season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Andonovski led all forwards with 23 assists in 62 games. Although he was called up to the NHL roster in October, he did not play and was a healthy scratch in his sole appearance.

The 25-year-old faced a challenging start last season, managing only one empty-net goal in his first 29 games and frequently moving in and out of the lineup. However, he became a key player in the latter half of the season, contributing as a bottom-six power forward and penalty killer. He concluded the season with seven goals and a team-high 99 penalty minutes.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach JD Forrest praised Andonovski's aggressive play and effectiveness in penalty killing. "When he plays to (his) strengths, he’s really aggressive,” Forrest said in March. “He’s been contributing a lot to our penalty kill, as well, just with his reads and winning some wall battles and loose puck battles... I think that’s given us a lot of faith in him to put him in tough situations when we know we need to make a harder play.”

After graduating from St. Andrew’s College, in Aurora, Andonovski spent a season playing Junior 'A' in the British Columbia Hockey League) BCHL with the Chilliwack Chiefs before a four-year career playing Division 1 college hockey at Princeton. He signed with the Penguins after the 2021-22 college hockey season.

Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review noted that Andonovski was seen favorably by the previous Penguins management and impressed the current administration as he solidified his role in the AHL roster during the latter part of the 2023-24 season. The one-year restricted free agent extension appears to reflect this confidence. His physicality and developing penalty-killing skills could make him a potential candidate for a call-up should injuries affect the Penguins' roster this fall.

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