Pittsburgh Penguins fans have seen their fair share of call-ups this season. With injuries and inconsistent play, the 2017-2018 season has opened the door for minor league guys to crack the lineup. Two of these players are being honored as All-Stars in the AHL.
Pittsburgh Penguins prospects Daniel Sprong and Casey DeSmith have been chosen to represent the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the 2018 AHL All-Star Game.
Fans are familiar with Sprong, the 20 year old who now plays on Sidney Crosby’s wing. He’s scored three points in five games this season with the Pens, and 28 points in 29 games with the minor league team.
If Sprong keeps playing the way he is, there’s a great chance he’ll stay with the club and miss the AHL All-Star game. I’m sure he won’t mind.
DeSmith has also seen time with the big club, but has spent the majority of the season in the minors. He currently holds a .915 SV% and a 2.53 GAA.
In the official press release from the Penguins website, they noted that DeSmith’s selection was becoming a bit of a trend.
"DeSmith’s selection to the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino means that the Penguins have had a goalie named to the AHL’s All-Star event for the fourth year in a row. Furthermore, it has been four different goalies announced to the All-Star Classic from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in that time (Jeff Zatkoff, 2015; Matt Murray, 2016; Tristan Jarry, 2017.)"
WBS just gets goalies I guess, huh?
AHL All-Star Classic Vets
Besides Murray and Jarry, there are a few other current Penguin forwards that were also All-Stars in the minors. Penguins forward Jake Guentzel was named to the AHL All-Star festivities in 2017, and Dominik Simon was selected in 2016.
Say what you will about the Penguins prospect pool, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton operates like a well oiled machine. They currently hold the longest streak of making the playoffs in the AHL: 15 seasons straight.
Coach Clark Donatelli has been praised for his efforts in the minors, and hopefully he and the rest of the crew in WBS keep producing All-Stars.
The 2018 AHL All-Star Classic will be held on Jan. 28 – 29 in Utica, NY.