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March 19, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Dustin Jeffrey (15) moves the puck up ice against the Washington Capitals during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins Re-sign forward Dustin Jeffrey

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been relatively quiet since the early stages of free agency, but on Thursday they made a move to keep one of their own.

Penguins’ general manager Ray Shero announced that the team has re-signed forward Dustin Jeffrey to a one-year deal worth approximately $625 K.

March 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Dustin Jeffrey (15) skates up ice with the puck against the New York Islanders during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jeffrey was a restricted free agent this offseason and could be given the chance to earn the opportunity to contribute more for the 2013-14 season, especially after the Penguins lost forwards Matt Cooke (signed with Wild)  and Tyler Kennedy (traded to Sharks).

The 25-year old appeared in 25 regular-season games for the Penguins in 2012-13 where he scored three goals and had three assists.

For most of the past five seasons Jeffrey has been up and down from Wilkes-Barre to the Penguins. In that span he has scored 15 goals, dished out 12 assists and posted a plus-6 rating in 90 regular-season games.

Jeffrey started to open up some eyes during the 2010-11 season when he set NHL career-high marks with seven goals, five assists and 12 points in 25 games.

He was a sixth round pick of the Penguins in the 2007 NHL Draft and has proven that he can score in the minors. Jeffrey tallied 71 points in his last full minor league season in 2009-10 and made back to back AHL All-Star teams in 2010 and 2011.

Now he has to prove that he is capable of getting the job done consistently at the NHL level, where he will likely be competing for third or fourth line duties.

One thing is for sure though and that is the 2013-14 season could be his best opportunity yet to do so.

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Tags: Dustin Jeffrey Pittsburgh Penguins

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