Pittsburgh Penguins backup goaltender Jeff Zatkoff has done quite a good job this season answering questions of whether or not he was capable of handling the duties behind regular netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.
He’s done such a good job that he looks to be a part of the Penguins future, at least for the next couple of seasons.
Penguins’ executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero announced today that the team has signed the rookie Zatkoff to a two-year contract extension.
The deal begins with the 2014-15 season and runs through the 2015-16 campaign, and has a reported average annual value of $600k.
The 26-year-old is the first Penguins rookie goaltender since Johan Hedberg in 2001 to win six consecutive decisions. Despite a rough NHL debut, Zatkoff has posted a 6-2 record, 2.46 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in eight games this season.
Zatkoff was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round (74th overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft, where he played three-plus seasons for the Kings’ minor-league team, the Manchester Monarchs, from 2009-12. After that the Detroit native played last season for the Penguins’ top minor-league affiliate, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League (AHL).
In 146 career AHL games with Manchester and WBS, Zatkoff posted a 77-63-6 record, winning 20 games in three of his four full seasons.
It looks as it Zatkoff has a long future as an NHL goaltender. As long as he continues to play at a high level, will be wearing a Penguins sweater for the foreseeable future.