The Pittsburgh Penguins have officially activated rookie defenseman Simon Despres from injured reserve and subsequently demoted him to the team’s AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The 20-year-old has been sidelined since injuring his knee against the Senators on January 10, but has been working out with the team for the past week.
In 23 AHL games this season, Depres has three goals and seven points. In 14 games at the NHL level, Despres has recorded a goal and three assists.
This kid is going to be phenomenal. The only reason he’s not in the NHL over Niskanen or Paul Martin right now is because he doesn’t have to clear waivers to head back to the AHL. He’s played 40 periods at the NHL level and I’m very willing to say that 39 of them have been solid. Despres looked bad in his inaugural NHL period against the Washington Capitals, but once he got over the butterflies, he was outstanding.
I truly can’t wait for this kid to become a full time player in the NHL. For now he’ll develop a little bit more in the AHL until a defenseman is injured. If that miraculously doesn’t happen, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back up and playing in the playoffs.