Sullivan Extension, Joseph Signs & More News

The Pittsburgh Penguins have handed head coach Mike Sullivan a three-year contract extension, the team announced Monday. That deal will leave him on the Pittsburgh bench through the 2019-20 season.

Sullivan is in the midst of his first full season with the Pens. He was hired in December of 2015 when the team dismissed Mike Johnston after a slow start to the season. Under Sullivan, the Penguins bounced back and eventually became the 2016 Stanley Cup champions.

“Mike did the best coaching job in the NHL last season,” general manager Jim Rutherford said in a statement. “He continues to be a terrific coach and we are happy to give him a well-deserved extension.”

Sullivan has been praised as a player’s coach and he has managed to get the most out of his stars, finding a way to get Phil Kessel producing, Evgeni Malkin is near the top of the league in points and Sidney Crosby is having one of the most dominant seasons of his career.

Sullivan owns a 54-22-10 record since arriving in Pittsburgh.

More 2017 Draft Eligible Injuries

2017 draft eligible forward Alexey Lipanov, a C-rated prospect in Central Scouting’s Players to Watch, has suffered an injury and will miss three months of play, according to Russian Prospects.

He’s coming off an impressive performance at the World Junior A Challenge.

It’s certainly not on the same level as the ongoing injuries to Nolan Patrick or Timothy Liljegren, but it’s another 2017 prospect who will miss a significant portion of their draft year.

Bolts Ink Joseph

Though the roster freeze was in effect, it didn’t stop Tampa from continuing to get things done. The Lightning put ink to paper with prospect Mathieu Joseph, who earned himself a three-year entry-level contract.

That makes it a pretty fine week for the Sea Dog forward. He earned his first pro contract and is making his debut for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship when Canada opens the tournament against Russia on Boxing Day.

Joseph is currently tied for the Q’s scoring lead but has done so while playing fewer games than the two players he’s tied with. He’s posted 45 points (25-20-45) in 29 games.

Winnipeg Prospect Traded

Winnipeg Jets prospect Luke Green has been traded from the Saint John Sea Dogs, where he played with his twin brother Matt (and Jospeh), to the Sherbrooke Phoenix. Saint John gets a 2018 first-round pick and second-round picks in 2018 and 2020.

“Luke is a good player and a quality young man,” said Sea Dogs president and general manager Trevor Georgie. “This was not an easy deal to make. It’s a good opportunity for him and we wish him all the best.”

Green, a defenseman, has two goals and 15 points in 27 games at age 18.

Saint John currently sits in first place overall, while Sherbrooke has the third-worst record in the league.

Abramov’s Meteoric Rise

Similar to Joseph, Vitaly Abramov got an entry-level contract from the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 18-year-old Russian has been lacing up for the Gatineau Olympiques in the QMJHL where he’s put up 23 goals and 45 points in 32 games.

Vitaly Abramov SH goal vs Baie-Comeau Drakkar by Konstantin_Glazov

Odds & Ends

– The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned Cory Conacher, Erik Condra and Tanner Richard to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.