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The Official Site of the Pittsburgh Penguins

Prospect Confidential

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
This is the first installment of our weekly look at the progress of some of the top prospects within the Penguins organization. This week we will be examining the following players:


1.    Carl Sneep, D
2.    Luca Caputi, LW
3.    Dustin Jeffrey, C
4.    Brian Strait, D




CARL SNEEP

Position: Defenseman
Attributes: 6-4, 210 pounds, Shoots R
Team: Boston College
League: NCAA (Hockey East)
Acquired: Penguins 2006 second-round draft pick (32 overall)

Scouting Report: Sneep has great size and is a powerful skater. His speed is underrated for how big he is and Sneep has great puck skills. Sneep has improved in his defensive responsibilities during his tenure at Boston College, such as his positioning and using his physical assets.

Minor Report: Sneep is in his third season at Boston College. During his first two seasons, the Minnesota native notched four goals and 21 assists for 25 points in 82 games. He has important playoff experience as BC won the NCAA Championship Tournament last year while finishing as the runner-up in his freshman season.

In the current campaign, Sneep has one goal and seven assists (8 points) in 14 games while helping the Eagles as one of the top-ranked teams in the NCAA.



LUCA CAPUTI

Position: Left Wing
Attributes: 6-2, 184 pounds, Shoots L
Team: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
League: AHL (American Hockey League)
Acquired: Penguins 2007 fourth-round draft pick (111 overall)

Scouting Report: Caputi is a big, physical forward who isn’t afraid to go to the front of the net. He takes a beating but scores most of his goals in close on goal. Caputi will grind it out in the trenches for loose pucks and likes to take the body on opponents. Caputi recently turned 20 years old. There’s plenty of time for him to bulk up his strength and turn into a strong, power forward in the NHL.

Minor Report: Caputi played four seasons of junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League. In his first three seasons, he netted 35 goals and 39 assists for 74 points for Mississauga. He exploded last year in his final junior season with Niagara when he scored 51 goals and 60 assists for 111 points and a plus-26 rating. His 51 goals and 111 points set new franchise records for Niagara.

Caputi got his feet wet in the AHL when he joined the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for their playoff run last season. In 19 playoff games, the Toronto native netted four goals and eight points. Caputi is in the midst of his first AHL season and is seventh on the team with 16 points (7G-9A) as of Sunday. He was one of the final players sent down in training camp and may see NHL action before the season is over.



DUSTIN JEFFREY

Position: Center
Attributes: 6-1, 205 pounds, Shoots L
Team: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
League: AHL (American Hockey League)
Acquired: Penguins 2007 sixth-round draft pick (171 overall)

Scouting Report: Jeffrey’s work ethic and competitiveness are his best assets. He has a blue-collar work ethic when it comes to playing hockey. The Ontario native loves to get his hands dirty along the boards and in the corners. He is a high-energy player that thrives on the physical aspect of the game. Jeffrey creates havoc in front of the net and will score those ugly goals. He also has an underrated shot and can find loose pucks around the goal.

Minor Report: Jeffrey started his career at Mississauga of the Ontario Hockey League. In two seasons, he scored 16 goals and 24 assists for 40 points before heading to Sault Ste. Marie. With the Greyhounds, Jeffrey collected 50 goals and 70 assists for 120 points in 95 games. He exploded in his final year with 38 goals and 59 assists for 97 points.

He saw action with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during their deep playoff run last year. He began this season with the team in the AHL. Through 28 games, Jeffrey ranks fifth on the squad as of Sunday with 17 points on four goals and 13 assists.



BRIAN STRAIT

Position: Defenseman
Attributes: 6-0, 200 pounds, Shoots L
Team: Boston University
League: NCAA (Hockey East)
Acquired: Penguins 2006 third-round draft pick (65 overall)

Scouting Report
: Strait is a stay-at-home defenseman who excels in his own zone. He’s a reliable blueliner and responsible in his positioning. Strait is a gritty player. Even though he’s not blessed with overpowering size, he will get physical on forwards along the wall and in front of the net. Strait provides leadership and is a character guy in the locker room. He was captain of the United States National under-18 team. As a sophomore, Strait was named as a Terriers’ alternate captain.

Minor Report: Strait recorded 13 points (2G-11A) in 47 games as captain of the United States under-18 squad. In his first two campaigns at Boston University, he scored three goals and 13 assists for 16 points. Strait was a runner-up for the Old Time Hockey Best Defensive Defenseman award in his sophomore season. He played six games in the World Junior Championships and registered six shots and a plus-1 rating.

Strait, now a junior, has helped lead the Terriers’ to a No. 4 national ranking this season. Through 16 games, he has two points (1G-1A) and a plus-4 rating. Strait recently aided in his team’s upset of No. 2 ranked Boston College last week.






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