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Insider Only Dominik Simon could add needed element to 4th line LW position

— The primary forward in Wilkes Barre/Scranton that Jim Rutherford’s top lieutenants had recommended for an NHL call-up for over two weeks now has been 2015 5th round pick Dominik Simon not Daniel Sprong.

With an injury to Tom Kuhnhackl that is going to knock him out of the lineup for a little while, Simon, as expected, gets the call-up over Sprong and others in Wilkes Barre.

A strong playmaking forward who creates offense well for linemates, Simon has 13 assists in 20 games and is tied for the points lead (16) in Wilkes Barre.

Simon is far from a sure-fire NHL player but his call-up is worth watching from the standpoint of what the Penguins lack; most notably from the forward position on the 4th line, Pittsburgh desperately lacks skill on the wing and players who can create individual high danger chances.

Kuhnhackl is well liked by the Penguins’ coaching staff because of his ability on the Penalty Kill and how he brings a consistent work ethic, but even prior to his injury, Kuhnhackl had been entering a territory where the Penguins needed to start thinking hard about moving him out of the lineup as a regular and opening up a spot for a more skilled winger from Wilkes Barre or via trade

There are questions among scouts about Simon’s skating ability at the NHL level, though, most say it’s good enough and there’s not been enough of a sample in his brief NHL stints as to whether he can physically hold up, but his call-up is nonetheless intriguing because of the high-end puck skills.

He deserves to get a little run here so the Penguins can see whether he can add some needed skill to the 4th line.

— In his 21st game of the season tonight for the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins, Daniel Sprong scored his 11th goal of the season. Even if he gets on another hot run the next couple weeks like he did to open the season, it’s not going to lead Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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