The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Boris Valabik to a one-year contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
Valabik’s contract is a two-way contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level.
Valabik, 25, split the 2010-11 season between the Chicago Wolves and Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL), notching 11 assists and 189 penalty minutes in 59 regular-season games between the teams.
Valabik, a 6-foot-7, 245-pound blueliner, began this past season as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers organization while suiting up for Chicago of the AHL. On Feb. 18, Valabik was traded to the Boston organization in a deal that also brought forward Rich Peverley to the Bruins in exchange for forward Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart.
Valabik is a physical defenseman but doesn’t figure to push for any playing time with the Penguins at the NHL level.
A native of Nitra, Slovakia, Valabik was selected by the Thrashers in the first round (10th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Valabik spent parts of three seasons skating with the Thrashers from 2007-10, collecting seven assists and 210 penalty minutes in 80 NHL games.
Valabik has spent the majority of his pro career with Chicago (AHL). Overall, Valabik has appeared in 184 AHL regular-season games, notching 31 points (4G-27A) and 633 penalty minutes. He was a vital member of the Wolves’ 2007-08 Calder Cup championship squad, scoring three goals and four points in 24 postseason contests.
Prior to joining the Thrashers organization, Valabik played three seasons of junior hockey with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Valabik played 163 regular-season games with the Rangers, amassing 29 points (4G-25A) and 725 penalty minutes. He added two assists in 25 postseason games.