Which Baby Pens Are All-Stars? by @_MAF29 - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Which Baby Pens Are All-Stars? by @_MAF29

Out of the players in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, 5 have been selected to go to an All-Star game in 2016. For the NHL's All-Star Game, these players include center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang. For the AHL's All-Star Classic, these players include right wing Dominik Simon, defenseman Derrick Pouliot and goaltender Matt Murray. We all know what Geno and Letang have done, but what about the young guns? Let's take a look.

You'd truly think Matt Murray wouldn't be able to top what he did last season, has he won nearly every accolade a rookie goaltender could at the AHL level. Well, he isn't exactly topping it, but he hasn't fallen off either.

Looking more and more like the best goaltending prospect in any NHL organization out there, Murray currently boasts a 16-8-0 record through 25 games played. With 4 shutouts, a .933 save percentage and a 1.97 goals against average on the season, Murray is definitely continuing his greatness. While Marc-Andre Fleury was injured due to a concussion, Murray got some NHL time as well! Through 4 games played, Murray posted a 2-1-1 record with a 1.72 goals against average and a .938 save percentage. While playing at the NHL level, Murray fit right in and didn't look out of place, not even for a second. He has more than earned the call to the AHL's All-Star Classic. 
(Sadly, due to an lower body injury, Murray will miss the game. He will be replaced by Mike McKenna.)

Pittsburgh's top defensive prospect Derrick Pouliot earned his spot as well. Through 37 AHL games played this season, Pouliot had scored 6 goals for 23 points, 14 of them being primary points. Pouliot's estimated time on ice per 60 is 22.618, as he usually plays on the top defensive pairing with Steve Oleksy. Pouliot is also the quarterback on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's number one power play unit, and also gets time on the penalty kill. Former head coach Mike Sullivan (now leading Pittsburgh) in addition to current head coach Clark Donatelli both relied and rely heavily on Pouliot to be the go-to guy in most situations, on the back end. Pouliot is currently on the NHL roster, and has played 2 games in which he has accumulated one assist.

(It was announced Derrick Pouliot would be unavailable for the All-Star Classic. He will be replaced.)

Last but not least for the All-Star Classic is rookie Dominik Simon.

Drafted in the same class as Daniel Sprong, Frederik Tiffels and Nikita Pavlychev, Simon is the only one of the four that is eligible to play at the AHL level, and boy has he dominated it. In Simon's first year playing North American professional hockey (the AHL in this case), he has 12 goals and 19 assists through 41 games played. 37 points through 41 games isn't too bad for a rookie, that's for sure. It was good enough to earn him passage into the AHL All-Star Classic! In addition to Daniel Sprong, Dominik Simon may turn out to be a steal in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft for Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford. (Due to injury, Dominik Simon may miss the All-Star Classic. There is no decision as of now.)

Sadly, they may all miss the All-Star Classic due to injury or simply not being there to represent. If this is the case, hopefully the injured players can seize this opportunity to heal up and be ready for the latter half of the season!

Thanks for reading!

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