The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenders Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta to three-year entry-level contracts. Pouliot, drafted with the first-round pick acquired by the Penguins in the Jordan Staal trade, played with the Penguins' 2011 first-round draft pick Joe Morrow on the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks. Maatta has been playing for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
The Penguins are excited about these two players because they provide the Penguins with considerable depth at defense. They currently project that both Pouliot and Maatta could reach the NHL in about two years at the earliest. The three-year deals will take effect when each player decides to go pro.
Both players are expected to join the team for training camp when it begins, pending the NHL's collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Training camp is set to begin on Sept. 21 at Consol Energy Center.