By Jake Shoemaker
St. Louis Blues’ announced Friday that they have signed 23-year-old star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to a 7-year, $45.5 million contract, featuring a no-trade clause over the final three years.
The five year veteran has emerged over the past few years as both a premiere shutdown defender and an elite scoring defenseman. After being drafted 4th overall in the 2008 NHL entry draft, Pietrangelo played his first full season in 2010. The Blues have since qualified for the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, bowing out to the Los Angeles Kings both times.
Blues executives hope the steady defender can help St. Louis continue to build its pursuit of the Stanley Cup. In the past four seasons, Pietrangelo’s plus-minus ranks 15th among all NHL blue-liners and he has built a reputation for his clutch scoring touch.
In addition to his work for the Blues, Pietrangelo hopes to qualify for the Canadian Olympic team in 2014. He has competed for his country at the Junior and Senior levels, earning a Gold Medal at the World Junior Championship in 2009.