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Penguins Recall Simon Despres from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled defenseman Simon Despres from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, and re-assigned defenseman Alexandre Picard to WBS, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero. Despres, 20, has appeared in 22 games as a rookie this season for WBS, tallying three goals, four assists, seven points and a plus-3 rating. Despres leads WBS with three game-winning goals, while his seven points are tied for the team lead among defensemen. Despres, Pittsburgh’s first-round draft pick (30th overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft, will be looking to make his NHL debut tonight when the Penguins visit the Washington Capitals. The 6-foot-4, 219-pound Despres completed a stellar four-year career with Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in 2010-11 by helping to lead the Sea Dogs to both the QMJHL and Memorial Cup championships. The Laval, QC native also captured the Emile “Butch” Bouchard Award as the Best Defenseman in the QMJHL. Last season Despres was also a member of Team Canada’s silver-medal winning squad at the 2011 World Junior Championships, tallying three assists and a plus-7 rating in seven games. Picard, 26, has appeared in seven games this season for Pittsburgh, going scoreless with a plus-5 rating in 12:51 minutes per game.

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