The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled wingers Zach Aston-Reese and Garrett Wilson, Tuesday and re-assigned forward Derek Grant to the Wilkes-Bare/Scranton Penguins.
Aston-Reese, a 2016 free agent signing from Northeastern University, played 16 regular season games last season and nine playoff games. The 6-foot, 204-pound physical winger had six points (4g, 2a) and one playoff assist. His postseason was cut short by a vicious hit from Capitals forward Tom Wilson, who was suspended for three games. Aston-Reese suffered a broken jaw and concussion. He did not eat solid foods until mid-August.
Saturday against Bridgeport, Aston-Reese had his first professional hat trick. He also had an assist for a four-point game.
Aston-Reese, 24, had nine points (6g, 3a) in 11 AHL games, this season. He has seven points in his last four games.
Wilson is a surprising call-up. The 27-year-old career minor leaguer is in his eight professional seasons but has played only 34 career NHL games. Wilson, the captain of the WBS Penguins, is in his third season with the Penguins organization and one of his most productive. Wilson has 11 points (6g, 5a) in 11 games.
Wilson last played in the NHL in 2015-16 for the Florida Panthers. He played 29 regular season games and was scoreless with 24 penalty minutes. Wilson had one assist in six playoff games. Wilson was the Panthers’ 2009 fourth-round choice (107th overall). Last season with the WBS Penguins, Wilson set a career high in points (42) and in penalty minutes (139) in 69 games.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are winless in four straight and have been searching for contributions from bottom line forwards. Daniel Sprong has yet to score his first goal and the Penguins have been shuffling Matt Cullen and Riley Sheahan into the third line center role, while Derick Brassard remains on IR.
The Penguins are in Washington tomorrow night.