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      Pittsburgh Penguins sign Dmitri Samorukov to a one-year deal

      Samorukov, 24, signs with the Penguins after playing for their AHL affiliate.

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      The Pittsburgh Penguins have inked defenseman Dmitri Samorukov to a one-year contract worth $775,000. Samorukov signed an AHL deal with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins before the season and has played there for the first part of the season. Through 15 games, he scored one goal and five points with the AHL Penguins, along with four penalty minutes and a -1 rating.

      Samorukov was originally a third-round selection of the Edmonton Oilers in the 2017 NHL Draft. The Volgograd, Russia native was drafted out of the OHL while he was playing his junior career with the Guelph Storm. During his rookie season there, he played alongside future NHL prospects Isaac Ratcliffe, Ryan Merkley, Givani Smith, and Nate Schnarr. The Oilers’ draftee put up 99 points in 198 OHL games.

      The left-handed defenseman was regarded as one of the best prospects in the Oilers’ organisation for a few years but never made it into the NHL for any meaningful amount of time. Samorukov left North American for one year in 2020-21 to play in the KHL for the COVID-19 shortened season. He put up eight points in 48 games with CSKA Moscow.

      He ended up playing one game for the Oilers the following season but spent nearly the entire season in the AHL with the Bakersfield Condors. The Oilers finally decided to cut bait with the defenseman when they traded him to the St. Louis for Klim Kostin. Edmonton probably won that trade in hindsight after Kostin put up 21 points in 57 games in the one season he played for the Oilers. Samorukov only played two games for the Blues all season last year.

      Now Samorukov has a chance to make his mark with the Penguins organisation but it won’t be easy to get any NHL playing time. They likely signed him as insurance if any of the defenseman ahead of him get injured in the near future.

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