With the Penguins in the midst of their offseason, the Tribune-Review is looking at all 49 players currently under NHL contracts to the organization in alphabetical order, from mid-level prospect Niclas Almari to top-six winger Jason Zucker.
Position: Left winger
Weight: 204 pounds
2020-21 NHL statistics: 45 games, 15 points (nine goals, six assists)
Contract: Second year of a two-year contract with a salary cap hit of $1 million. Pending restricted free agent this offseason.
Acquired: Signed as an undrafted free agent, March 14, 2017
2020-21 season: It would not be accurate to say Zach Aston-Reese’s campaign did not start off well.
That’s because it didn’t really start at all.
At least not on time.
Thanks to an offseason surgical procedure on his left shoulder in mid-August, Aston-Reese missed the first 11 games of the season while recuperating.
Once he did make his way into the lineup on Feb. 11 during a 4-3 road shootout win against the New York Islanders, it was evident the Penguins were getting back a slightly improved version of Aston-Reese.
In the second period of his season debut, Aston-Reese forechecked Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson into a turnover on New York’s end boards then burrowed his way to the crease for a goal:
Freed of the limitations of a damaged shoulder he had tried to fight through for several seasons, Aston-Reese began to show the full extent of…