The Blue Jackets have signed forward Mark Letestu to a two-year contract extension worth $2.5 million. Letestu, who could have been an unrestricted free agent this summer, will have an annual salary cap hit of $1.25 million.
"I've said it before, and it's true: this is where I want to be," Letestu said over the weekend.
The Blue Jackets acquired Letestu from Pittsburgh on Nov. 8, 2011, for a fourth-round draft pick. His production since then has been a pleasant surprise.
Letestu is second on the club in scoring this season, with nine goals, 11 assists and a plus-6 rating. Only Vinny Prospal (21 points) has been more productive.
In 85 games with Columbus, Letestu has 20 goals, 24 assists and a plus-3 rating.
“Mark is a smart, versatile forward who brings consistency and a great work ethic every time he takes the ice and we are very pleased to have him remain with our hockey club,” Blue Jacket GM Jarmo Kekalainen said today in a release.
Equal to Letestu's production is his versatility. He can play all three forward positions, plays both power play and penalty kill and wins 52 percent of his faceoff attempts. His two short-handed goals are tops on the club and tied for second in the NHL. Only New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk (4) has more.