The Penguins signed forward Zach Aston-Reese as a highly-coveted undrafted free agent out of Northeastern. Get to know the Staten Island, N.Y. native here with this Q&A.
What is your hockey nickname?
How did you get started playing?
I started when I was four years old. My older brother William was playing, he's four years older than me. I was just around the rink all the time, I was just a little rink rat. So it just came second nature.
Who else have been your biggest influences?
Probably both my parents, they just invested a lot of time and money into me when I was younger. Especially when I started playing travel hockey. They had to make a lot of sacrifices to get me out to New Jersey, an hour and a half there, an hour and a half back for travel hockey. The youth hockey scene in Staten Island isn't the best, so you have to expand your horizons.
With your dad being from Crafton, are you fans of any Pittsburgh sports teams? What teams did you follow growing up?
I'm not really into baseball or basketball or anything like that. Hockey was pretty much all I liked, so I was a Penguins fan because my dad just dressed me in Penguins stuff. There's a video of me, I was probably 4 or 5 and skating around in a Jagr jersey. My favorite players were Mario Lemieux and then Alexei Kovalev. So I switched to 27. I was really sad when he got traded to the Rangers, I remember that from when I was younger. Then I think he scored in his first game against the Penguins.
What's on your Spotify playlist?
Right now I'm in this alternative phase. It's kind of weird. When I put my music on guys tell me to turn my iPod off (laughs). But there's this band I've been obsessed with from Wales, they're called Catfish and the Bottlemen and it's what I listen to before games and pretty much all the time.
What's in your Netflix queue?
I've been getting into TV shows and this summer I was really into The Office. My roommate started and I wasn't interested at first, but then it crept up on me.
Does your family have any pets?
No, my dad was allergic my whole life and then my sister rescued two dogs. One that's a mix, but is mainly a dachshund and a little Chihuahua. Howard and Hazel. And my dad's been getting allergy shots so they can come over and hang out.
What's your most-used emoji?
Probably the embarrassed face with the rosy cheeks.
What apps and games are always open on your phone?
I try to limit my use of social media so that Twitter and Instagram, I just remove the app for a couple days at a time and then check up and see if anyone close has contacted me. But mainly, Clash of Clans.
If you could have dinner with any famous person, who would it be?
It would probably be the lead singer from Catfish and the Bottlemen. He's got a really cool story.
Speaking of dinner, what's your ideal meal?
Mine would be a nice steak at a nice restaurant with a nice glass of red wine. Just one glass (laughs). But lately I've been expanding my horizons and having seafood and stuff and trying fish, so I like salmon and swordfish. We had swordfish yesterday. I only ate crabs growing up, smashing them was fun and they taste pretty good, but I just couldn't do fish.