Around the NHL: Rust re-signs; Kero traded; Boucher re-ups

By @StefanKubus – 

It’s been a notable week around the NHL for activity amongst Michigan natives.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced Tuesday that they had re-signed forward and Pontiac native Bryan Rust to a four-year deal worth an annual average value of $3.5 million.

Rust, 26, posted career-highs in assists (25) and points (38) in 69 games this past season.

A product of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, Rust has won two Stanley Cups with the Pens and played a pivotal role for the team in those championships, having posted 16 goals (four game-winning markers) and 21 points in 58 career playoff games with Pittsburgh.

Rust has amassed 33 goals and 79 points in 181 career games with the Penguins. He was a third-round pick of Pittsburgh in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Kero traded to Canucks

On Sunday, the Vancouver Canucks acquired forward Tanner Kero from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for fellow forward Michael Chaput.

Kero, a 25-year-old Hancock native and Michigan Tech alum, posted three points in eight games last season with the Hawks and another 20 in 36 playing for the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL.

In 2016-17, Kero suited up for 47 Blackhawks games and posted 16 points in a depth checking-line role.

He has tallied eight goals and 22 points in 72 career NHL games. Kero still has one more year left on his current contract and is currently set to become a restricted free agent next summer.

Boucher re-signs in Vancouver

Just days before this past weekend’s NHL Entry Draft, the Canucks also locked up forward Reid Boucher for another season.

Boucher, a 24-year-old Grand Ledge native, split the 2017-18 campaign between Vancouver and AHL affiliate Utica Comets, recording five points in 20 games played with the Canucks. He also was named the Comets’ MVP this past season after he led the team in scoring with 46 points through 45 games played (25-21-46).

In 132 career NHL games with New Jersey, Nashville and Vancouver, Boucher has potted 20 goals and 22 assists for 42 points. Boucher formerly starred for the Lansing Capitals in his youth hockey days.

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