On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins recalled froward Zach Aston-Reese.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will play the second of a back to back on Saturday night. They’ll travel to Newark to take on the New Jersey Devils.
The Penguins have played astounding hockey as of late, winning their past four games. However after injuries to Conor Sheary and Patric Hornqvist, this red hot lineup will be welcoming a new face. Zach Aston-Reese.
Aston-Reese (or ZAR) will make his Pittsburgh Penguins debut on Saturday night.
Originally undrafted, ZAR made a name for himself playing college hockey at Northeastern University. He was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker award after he led the NCAA in points last year. The Penguins signed him shortly after his collegiate career was over.
He’s registered 29 points in 41 games playing in Wilkes-Barre this season. He had a rather rough start, but has been among WBS points leaders the past month of play. His 20 assists ranks him first among the Baby Pens.
Aston-Reese plays a feisty game. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette remarked, “Penguins management has often compared him to Hornqvist”.
His aggressiveness is not as limited to the blue paint as Hornqvist. His 49 PIMs this season include more than a few fighting majors.
Where Does he Fit?
Since his game resembles Hornqvist, it will be interesting to see is ZAR sees time playing alongside Evgeni Malkin.
The line of Carl Hagelin, Malkin and Hornqvist has been tremendous as of late. Malkin is currently riding a point streak with seven (!) goals and three assists in the past three contests. Keeping Malkin’s situation as kosher as possible is probably at the forefront of Coach Mike Sullivan’s mind. This could have been another contributing factor as to why Aston-Reese was recalled over J.S. Dea or Daniel Sprong.
Addtitonally, it appears the American forward will get the chance to provide a net front presence on the Penguins second powerplay unit.
It will be interesting to see how and where Zach Aston-Reese will be used. If he doesn’t play alongside Malkin, he could just as easily slide down the lineup. He can also play center.
Regardless, if he plays anything like his fellow former WBS buddies (Simon, Dea, Sprong, etc.), he should have a great debut. He will wear number 46.