In my quest to pick up one of each of the four rookies with autographed patch cards in 2011-12 Panini Dominion, I got my hands on a Simon Despres, serial numbered 83/199.
Despres was Pittsburgh's first round selection (30th overall) in the 2009 NHL entry draft. After playing a couple of years with the St. John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL and helping Canada win the gold medal at the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, he made his NHL debut December 1, 2011 against the Washington Capitals. The game not only was his first to play in the NHL, but he also scored his first career NHL point, picking up an assist on a Chris Kunitz goal. Despres would play 18 games in total during the 2011-12 NHL season, finishing with 1 goal and 3 assists. During the lockout, Despres is playing with Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate, the Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins.