Matt Beleskey, who scored 11 goals last season after becoming an NHL regular for the first time in his career, has been rewarded with a two-year contract extension.
Update: Beleskey will earn $666,667 this season, the final year of his entry-level contract, then $1.475 million over the next two seasons: $625,000 in 2011-12 and $850,000 in 2012-13.
The former fourth-round Ducks draft pick (2006) also had seven assists and 18 penalty minutes in 60 games last season. A high-energy player with a dangerous shot, Beleskey became a fixture in the Ducks’ lineup at midseason and finished tied for 10th among NHL rookies in goals scored. He also tied for third among league rookies in game-winning goals (3), seventh in hits (94) and 10th in shots (123). Beleskey finished sixth among team leaders in goal scoring and tied for fourth in game-winners. Some of those numbers were helped by skating at left wing alongside Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry – a role Beleskey might be asked to reprise this season if the Ducks shift Bobby Ryan to a second-line center role, which has been discussed.
In 15 American Hockey League (AHL) games with San Antonio and Toronto last season, Beleskey earned 2-5=7 points with a plus-5 rating and 21 PIM.
The 22-year-old forward can rest a bit easier about his future in Anaheim, as he becomes one of just eight players signed through 2013 (Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan, Lupul, Visnovsky, Lydman and Hiller are the others). He also becomes a front-runner to win a third- or fourth-line left wing spot from a pack that includes Ryan Carter, Aaron Voros and Stephane Veilleux, who was invited to training camp on a pro tryout contract.