Northeastern forward and candidate for the Hobey Baker Award Zach Aston-Reese has signed his first professional contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It is a two-year, entry level contract, starting in the 2017-2018 season, and runs through the 2018-2019 season.
Aston-Reese will report to the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre Penguins, where he will play the rest of the season on an amateur tryout contract. For those local to the Boston/New England area, Wilkes-Barre will be visiting the Providence Bruins on April 9th for the Bruins’ last game of the season.
Over the past four seasons, Aston-Reese has transformed into one of the greatest players in Northeastern program history. His 148 career points and 66 career goals sit 12th all-time in program history, while his 82 assists are 18th best all-time. He saved his best for last, exploding during his senior season for 63 points (currently tied for the NCAA lead). His 63 points are tied for the 8th-best output in a single season, and he tied the program record for single-season shorthanded goals with 4. He was also an alternate captain his final two years at Northeastern.
His value was not strictly tied to points, however. Coach Madigan has raved about Aston-Reese’s complete game, and how it bodes well for him at the NHL level.
“He plays 200 feet. He’s a hard guy to play against because he plays both ends of the rink. His habits and details are tremendous for a kid who is a senior in college. He does everything the right way. He does it in practice. He kills penalties. He’s used in every situation”
Aston-Reese projects as a bottom-six forward who will be able to forecheck, kill penalties, chip in some offense, and play along the boards as a menace to opposing players- roles that he honed and perfected while at Matthews Arena. We wish nothing but success for Zach, and look forward to watching him thrive at the next level. All Hail the ZAR!