GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Between COVID-19 protocols and mounting injuries, Griffins coach Ben Simon has had to get creative to fill out his lineup recently.

So much so that he has multiple players playing out of position, with two forwards playing defense.

One player has shined in his new role: Dominik Shine.

In four pro seasons, Shine has built a reputation as a strong defensive forward who can still generate offense. This past weekend, Shine suddenly became an emergency defensemen.

“He actually played a ton on the back end, and he looked more than comfortable back there,” said Griffins head coach Ben Simon.

For the most part he stood out, a “plus five” in three straight games playing defense.

“It’s been a lot of fun. I didn’t really know what to expect going into it, but it’s definitely a lot more ice time than what I’ve had as a forward,” Dominik Shine said. “It’s been fun.”

In fact, Shine played in the top four, getting lots of ice time alongside veteran partner Joe Hicketts.

“Yeah he (Hicketts) talks a lot there, and communicates with me and lets me know what I need to be doing,” Shine said. “But also a guy who helps me is Lashoff. He’s not playing but he’s watching.”

“Shiners played well. He’s played penalty kill as a forward, so I think he kind of has those reads and that understanding of what needs to happen,” Hicketts said.

It’s an incredibly difficult transition to make at the pro level.

“It’s a whole different game back there, you gotta think differently, you gotta make reads that are way different than a forward,” Chase Pearson, a Griffins forward said. “So honestly it’s pretty impressive.

As challenging as it is, it’s a role Shine has througholy enjoyed. So much so, he wouldn’t mind staying a while.

“As of right now, I’m enjoying it, so we’ll just see where this goes and what the coaches think,” Shine said.