Like Evgeni Malkin this morning, the Pittsburgh Penguins have announced that Zach Aston-Reese recently underwent surgery. The forward underwent a procedure on his left shoulder and is expected to miss six months. That likely means Aston-Reese won’t be ready for the start of 2020-21 training camp, though the exact start date of that season is still subject to change.
Aston-Reese, 26, has been a stable presence in the Penguins lineup since soon after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2017. The college star from Northeastern has played in 117 NHL games over the last three seasons and though he doesn’t bring a ton of offense, has chipped in enough to maintain a role in the lineup.
He signed a two-year, $2MM extension in the summer of 2019, meaning he’s still under contract for the 2020-21 season at a reasonable price. That doesn’t guarantee him a spot with the Penguins given GM Jim Rutherford’s recent comments about change, but it’s going to be tough to move him for full value as he deals with this rehab.