Defenseman Matt Hunwick has signed a new contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. His new deal earns him $6.75 million over three years, for an annual cap hit of $2.25 million. Hunwick, a Michigan native, is entering his 11th season in the NHL. He was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft after playing for the University of Michigan.
Matt Hunwick to Pittsburgh. Believe this is a small deal.
— Travis Yost (@travisyost) July 1, 2017
Hunwick 3 year deal with Pens. $2.5 mil, $2.5 mil and $1.75 mil.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2017
Matt Hunwick Signs with the Pittsburgh Penguins
Hunwick is a relatively experienced defenseman that the Penguins felt could help their blue line. Although he played for a young team last year, the old veteran was still able to find a way to play in almost every game for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had a productive season of almost 20 assists. Furthermore, Hunwick played an exceptionally aggressive and detailed defensive game. Because of this, he was able to play a shut down role. He often exhibited his stamina by logging large minutes and his toughness by blocking shots. Hunwick is the kind of defenseman the Penguins desired to slide into their top six because of his hustle and consistent play.
Hunwick is not an offensive player, yet has the ability to rack up the assists. Through 479 career NHL games, Hunwick has 21 goals and 86 assists. The Penguins will not expect him to produce heavily offensively, but will take anything they can get. Instead they will expect hard and effective defense at all times on the ice. Hunwick is a physical player that will stick check and often take the body. This will be encouraged in his new home and will dictate his play. Hunwick can play a variety of roles, including on the penalty kill or as a top four defenceman.
Hunwick’s new contract comes after signing a two year deal in Toronto worth almost 2.5 million dollars in 2015. He made a drastic improvement in his play last season which resulted in his new contract.