Amidst a four game losing streak for the Penguins, you might expect some roster changes to come at some point, and we see that coming to fruition this evening, in the form of Zach Aston-Reese being recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, along with Garrett Wilson. Derek Grant was sent down to make room for the two recalls.
Per the Penguins:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled forwards Zach Aston-Reese and Garrett Wilson from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
Forward Derek Grant has been re-assigned to the WBS Penguins.
Aston-Reese and Wilson are coming off strong performances in their most recent appearance for WBS on November 4 in Bridgeport. Aston-Reese completed the first hat trick of his pro career and added an assist for four points. Two of his goals came on the power play, and the other was a shorthanded marker. Wilson contributed two goals and three points.
Aston-Reese, 24, places third on WBS in scoring with nine points (6G-3A) in 11 games thus far. He has notched seven of those points (4G-3A) over his past four games. Aston-Reese has skated in 62 career AHL contests with WBS over the last three years, producing 18 goals, 26 assists and 46 points with a plus-26.
Last season, the 6-foot, 204-pound Aston-Reese split the campaign between WBS and Pittsburgh. At the NHL level, he notched four goals and six points in 16 regular-season games, plus an assist in nine postseason contests.
Wilson, 27, is in his first season as the captain of the WBS Penguins. He is off to a fast start offensively, leading the club with 11 points on the strength of six goals and five assists in 11 games. Wilson has points in eight of 11 games. In three seasons with WBS, Wilson has 84 points (34G-50A) and a plus-25 in 139 games. Last year, Wilson spent time at the NHL level with the Penguins, but he is still looking to make his Pittsburgh debut.
Wilson, who stands 6-foot-2, 199 pounds, does have previous NHL experience, playing in 34 regular-season games and six postseason contests with the Florida Panthers between 2014-16. He recorded his first NHL point in Game 4 of the Panthers’ 2016 First Round matchup against the New York Islanders by assisting Alex Petrovic’s game-winning goal.
You can’t help but think that any kind of change on the offensive side of the puck for the Penguins can’t hurt. When things aren’t going well, a little change to shuffle things up might be what is needed.