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Pens recall Jake Guentzel, put Kunitz on IR

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A personnel move this morning as the Pens call up one of their top young players in Jake Guentzel.

Leon Halip-USA TODAY Sports

The Penguins have called up a top prospect and put a veteran on IR. From the team:

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled forward Jake Guentzel from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Forward Chris Kunitz has been placed on injured reserve.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Guentzel had three points (1G-2A) on Saturday night in the WBS Penguins' 4-3 comeback win against Hershey. Guentzel set up both the tying goal with 1:04 remaining in regulation and the overtime winner by Carter Rowney.

Guentzel, 22, has been one of the top offensive threats in the AHL this year, ranking third (tied) overall in the league, and first among rookies, with 17 points (7G-10A) in 16 games. His plus-14 leads the AHL.

Guentzel was terrific in his AHL debut last spring in the playoffs, scoring 14 points in 10 games, and as mentioned above he's really carried that over to being a great point-producer this regular season.

Kunitz has been hobbled lately and the 38-year old obviously needs some time now to get back to 100%, and Pittsburgh has elected to bring up a top-6 caliber scorer in Guentzel who, like Kunitz, is a left-winger.

Guentzel has rocketed up to #8 in the Summer 2016 Pensburgh Top 25 Under 25 series, and is known as a very smart, instinctive offensive player with good puck-skills. He's not the biggest player, but adapts with his positioning and play away from the puck to get where he needs to go. He sure looks like he's close to NHL ready and now will get a chance to show where he's at.