PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - The Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defenseman Kris Letang to a four-year contract extension, the team said on their website (http://penguins.nhl.com) Tuesday.

Securing him to a long-term deal had been a priority for general manager Ray Shero who has locked up a core of young players having already signed forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal and netminder Marc-Andre Fleury to multi-year contracts.

Taken in the third round of the 2005 draft by the Penguins, Letang has played 211 NHL games and scored 21 goals and 79 points.

This season the 22-year-old has set a new career-high with 24 assists and seen his workload increase with added time on the powerplay and penalty killing units.

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto, editing by Tony Jimenez)