Photo Credit: Billie Weiss/Getty Images

Oilers in on Aston-Reese

Set to turn 23 years old this August, Zach Aston-Reese has made a name for himself playing for Northeastern University.

Over the course of his 145 game NCAA career, Aston-Reese has scored  goals and tallied 82 assists, for a total of 148 points. This past season, he scored 31 goals and 32 assists for 63 points in only 38 games.

He led the NCAA in goals (31), points (63), and shorthanded goals (4).

Now, it appears that the young man is looking for an NHL contract and has quite a number of teams chasing him down. According to Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News, as many as 15 teams are showing interest in the “power forward [who] puts up points [and] works hard.”

Aston-Reese has been described as a a true 200-foot player.

“He’s a complete player, a 200-foot complete player,” his coach Jim Madigan says.  “Each year he’s worked on parts of his game to get better, and a lot of it’s been on the offensive side of it with his shot and stick skills, but he works at it, and that’s why he’s gotten better. I mean he works at shooting after practice, participating in the goaltender sessions twice a week, so when you do that over the course of four years, good things are going to happen because you’ve worked on your game.”

With Aston-Reese being a NU player, he roomed last year with current Edmonton Oilers Matthew Benning. One could assume that Oilers scouts took note of Aston-Reese last year when looking at Benning.

The Oilers have had some luck signing NCAA prospects as of late, and Benning was the big steal as he has stepped into the NHL and succeeded in his rookie year.

Others such as Drake Caggiula and  Jordan Oesterle still need some work, but are well on their way to becoming regular NHL players.

What the scouts say

He’s a smart 200-foot kind of a guy. He doesn’t have a ton of size, but he plays bigger. He’s heavy on pucks, he’s responsible, he’s diligent, he works hard along the walls and he goes to the dirty areas and he’s got some jam. The offense has really come up in the last couple of seasons, especially this season, that’s what’s getting a lot of people’s attentions, but the foundation is there. – Kirk Luedeke, Red Line Report



  • a lg dubl dubl

    Hope PC can land Reese, would be interesting to see him in the middle 6 in Bakersfield next season.

    Could have a decent shot at the top 6 down there too, depending on who LV takes in the expansion draft, and who PC lets walk this summer. Would we chaulk this up to the “Benningeffect” if he does sign with the Oilers?

  • freelancer

    I like how active Chiarelli is with the college free agents. 2 of the 3 he acquired last season (Patrick Russell being the 3rd) played significant roles on the big club this year.

  • Rama Lama

    Is he better than Drake Caguilla? Nothing against DC, but all the words written so far seem the same as when DC was being recruited. We have enough bottom six players.

    • toprightcorner

      at 204 lbs, he is much bigger than DC. His offense also comes due to size and not small skill which is hard to duplicate in the NHL.

      You can never have too many middle 6 prospects, not all turn out so the more you have the more likely you hit the jack pot. IT is also about filling the system with skilled players, something the Oilers have not had in 10 years.

  • 🖕 Flames

    He sounds better than a 1st round draft pick.
    Oilers pretty much had 3 first round picks last year with Benning-Drake-Puljujarvi.
    Oilers need some more depth on LW.
    Hendricks is retiring
    Pouliolt is gone sooner or later.
    Lucic will be a 3rd liner in 2-3 years.
    JJ could slide into a 3rd/4th C.

  • Glass

    I think we can make a strong case for acquiring him.

    1. McDavid, strong young core, and a team fast on the rise.
    2. Great Roger’s Place facility.
    3. Familiarity with the org (attended development camp last summer)
    4. Good relationship with Benning, who has found success with the team.
    5. Solid track record of college free agents getting playing time.
    6. I think the coaching staff & Chia truly value what he brings.

    It will come down to us and Vancouver imo.

  • toprightcorner

    6′ and 204 lbs is a nice size, he averages 2 PIMS a game and that would be with no fighting so the guy is aggressive and hard-nosed, could be a real poop disturber.

    Rooming with Benning last year is a huge bonus as Benning had a very positive 1st ear with the Oilers and has proven you will get NHL time if you are ready.

    The McDavid card is the best card to have in hockey.

    You can never have to many middle 6 prospects with skill, size and aggression.

    He would be a great pick up and better than the 2nd round pick we lost.

  • toprightcorner

    signing 1-3 quality college free agents is something PC needs to do for the next few years to add more skill and actual prospects in the AHL. Building the farm team is just as important as adding to the Oilers as you need cheaper players to come in once Draisaitl, McDavid, Nurse and Puljujarvi get their new contracts. It has been ages since the Oilers had lots of skill on the farm or have legitimate prospects in the top 10 of AHL scoring.

    Teams that compete for a long time have a deep farm system with lots of prospects. The Oilers need to be in a place where they have players in the AHL forcing their way on the NHL team by earning someones job because of their talent instead being put in the NHL because of injuries. Oilers need over ripe prospects instead of forced to use under ripe ones.

    • fasteddy

      Typically good teams draft lower and therefore their players are less likely to make the jump right away. Additionally there are usually less spots available on good teams. Having good young players in the minors is often more circumstantial than deliberate.