Berlin – Following a surprise farewell to defender Stephen Espland last week, the Polar Bears immediately responded. On Sunday, the Berlin team announced the signing of Canadian Simon Despres. The 29-year-old was most recently under contract with IK Oskarshamn in Sweden’s top division, Svenska Hockeyligan (SHL). “Simon will be able to help us directly. He is a great, NHL veteran defender with a good build-up passport. He is agile and very fast, with him we are again in more depth in the team, ”Sports Director Stephen Richter said in a press release.
After being despatched by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the NHL Draft in 2009, the left shooter committed between the NHL and the American Hockey League (AHL). Despres completed 193 NHL games for Pittsburgh (2011 to 2015) and Anime Ducks (2015 to 2017), adding 29 games to the NHL playoffs. In these 222 games of the world’s strongest ice hockey league, he scored seven goals and 43 assists. In 2017 he left for Europe for HC Sloven Bratislava.
Després is in quarantine
The tall new polar bear (193 cm) is currently in quarantine and will not yet be available for Berliners against Grizzels Wolfsburg (8.30am, Magentasport).