Due to this unfortunate collision, Kevin Porter was forced to undergo surgery on his ankle this morning and will miss around 12 weeks, according to head coach Mike Sullivan. This effectively ends his 2015-16 campaign.Apologies if it's out there already, here's where Kevin Porter went into the boards leg first. https://t.co/N7tHWI0H8K— Jason Iacona (@nafsnep) March 4, 2016
So, we are left with the question: With Beau Bennett, Eric Fehr and Conor Sheary currently out with injury...who will replace Kevin Porter? Not exactly a daunting task, but for the sake of a roster spot, lets contemplate this with some plausible choices.
The ex-Penguin was a deadline acquisition. The Pittsburgh Penguins had traded prospect Matia Marcantuoni for Dustin Jeffrey, Dan O'Donoghue, and James Melindy. Through 7 NHL games this season, Jeffrey has one goal and one assist. Through 45 games played in the AHL, Jeffrey has 13 goals and 33 assists for 46 points, currently placing him in a 3-way tie for 9th in AHL scoring (the others have played 51 games and 56 games, compared to Jeffrey's 45.) This is quite the admirable feat, and one would expect if perhaps Jeffrey could once more fill in a bottom six position for the Penguins, at least in the absence of Sheary, Fehr and/or Bennett. This would of course be temporary, but not exactly a horrible choice, all considering.
It's kind of hard not to give him consideration, isn't it? Due to call-ups, the quality of Simon's teammates has significantly dropped, but that shouldn't take away from how well he's been playing for his first season of pro hockey in North America. Through 50 games, the 2015 5th round pick has 15 goals and 20 assists, placing him in 9th place among AHL rookies. Once more, it must be considered that this is his first year playing North American style hockey, in a North American sized rink. It really does add to how much of a steal he might be in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft (in addition to Daniel Sprong). Good job, Jimbo. A versatile player, Simon can play in a plethora of places throughout the lineup, and should definitely be considered. Who knows? The AHL-All Star nominee might play so well that he makes a case for keeping the potential roster spot he fills in for.
You may be expecting more, but for a right wing position...these are the two likely candidates! Really! Far be it from me to say there aren't many others who are as deserving/fit to fill in for Kevin Porter's bottom six spot. Who do you think will fill in for Porter while the mixture of Sheary/Fehr/Bennett are still hurt? Dominik Simon? Dustin Jeffrey? Somebody else? Leave a comment below and tell us who and why!
Thanks for reading!
UPDATE: Josh Archibald has been recalled by the Pittsburgh Penguins! That's awesome. Welcome to the team, Archy!
Through 51 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Archibald has 8 goals and 6 assists for 14 points on the year. This is already a career high, besting his previous total of 13 points.