Mississauga native, Oakville resident promoted by NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins


Published June 24, 2022 at 5:24 pm

Mississauga native Tom Kostopoulos is leading player development for the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins. (File photo)

Mississauga-born hockey man Tom Kostopoulos’ knack for mentoring younger players has been recognized with move to director of player development with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The promotion comes after Kostopoulos spent the last four seasons with the Penguins as a player development coach, both with the National Hockey League team and its Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa., farm team in the American Hockey League (AHL). The 43-year-old has spent most of his professional hockey life, which included a 19-year playing career, in the Penguins organization.

Pittsburgh became Kotsopoulos’ original NHL organization when it drafted him in 1999, and he made his big-league debut with them in 2001-02. He also had three tours of duty with their AHL team, including two as captain, and set several career records for the Baby Pens.

A team press release noted that during his third time around, he helped influence several young players who contributed to Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup wins in 2016 and ’17, including Tom Kühnhackl (a Niagara IceDogs alumnus), Jake Guentzel, Matt Murray Bryan Rust and, Conor Sheary.

“His work ethic and experience coming up through the ranks during his career serve as a great example for our players,” Penguins general manager Ron Hextall said in the release. “We are excited to have him lead our player development staff.”

Kostopoulos also has the distinction of being one of just four players who played more than 600 career games in both the NHL and AHL, as he also skated for the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils.

Kostopoulos and his spouse, Lisa Kostopoulos, grew up together in Mississauga, and have spent hockey off-seasons in Oakville. His path to pro hockey included a season of Junior A with the old Brampton Capitals.

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