Over the weekend, the Penguins announced deals with Brendan Mikkelson and Eric Hartzell.
Mikkelson, who spent last season in Syracuse with the Crunch, was a second round draft pick of the Anahiem Ducks in 2005. Though he did get a brief shot in the NHL with the Lightning last season — he suited up for four games — he was primarily in the Crunch lineup, suiting up for 13 regular season games, and 13 playoff contests in 2012-13.
At just 26 years old, Mikkelson will be suiting up with his fifth club, previously playing games in the Anaheim, Toronto, Calgary, and Tampa Bay organizations.
Jason Iacona of Chirps From Center Ice had this to say about the signing:
Bombulie suggests he fills the role of Dylan Reese. He figures that Wilkes-Barre could do well to get another defenseman to fill the role Joey Mormina played.
Mikkelson was #35 on the Bombulie / Cignoli Big Board. Described as a “capable depth defenseman, solid in the AHL and can fill in at the NHL level.”
That certainly helps, as eluded to yesterday by Mike O’Brien, the Wilkes-Barre blue line is very young.
Hartzell, 24, has spent the last four seasons with Quinnipiac of the NCAA, and has been re-signed by the Penguins after signing his initial deal with the Penguins at the culmination of Quinnipiac’s season.
Last year, while with the Bobcats, Hartzell backstopped the team in 42 games and posted a 1.57 GAA and .933 SV%.
A Hobey Baker finalist, ECAC Goaltender and Player of the Year, and First All-Star, Hartzell will suit up in Wilkes-Barre next season to begin his professional career.