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The Official Site of the Pittsburgh Penguins

Prospect Confidential

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
The following is a weekly look at the progress of some of the top prospects within the Penguins organization.


1.    Keven Veilleux, C
2.    Robert Bortuzzo, D
3.    Nathan Moon, C
4.    Jake Muzzin, D




KEVEN VEILLEUX

Position: Center
Attributes: 6-5, 202 pounds, Shoots R
Team: Rimouski
League: QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)
Acquired: Penguins 2007 second-round draft pick (51 overall)

Scouting Report: Veilleux may have the highest upside of any prospect in the Penguins organization. With his blend of power, size, skill and speed, Veilleux has the potential to wreak havoc on NHL goaltenders. He has the shooting prowess and finishing touch to become a deadly winger, and Veilleux has the setup skills and defensive reliability to be a top-line center. He plays physical and will crash the net. He is also a top performer in the faceoff circle. Veilleux can take over a game and has worked on improving his consistency.

Minor Report: Veilleux’s offensive skills were on display last season. He scored 17 goals and 47 assists for 64 points in 61 games with Victoriaville and Rimouski. He added another seven points in nine playoff games for the Oceanic. Veilleux was off to a great start this year with 20 points (8G-12A) in 17 games but a mid-November shoulder injury will put him on the shelf for a majority of the season.



ROBERT BORTUZZO

Position: Defenseman
Attributes: 6-3, 196 pounds, Shoots R
Team: Kitchener
League: OHL (Ontario Hockey League)
Acquired: Penguins 2007 third-round draft pick (78 overall)

Scouting Report: Bortuzzo is a classic stay-at-home defenseman. He has a long reach and is equipped with a quality breakout pass. Bortuzzo is a strong skater with great leg strength. Despite having great size at 6-foot-3 and 196 pounds, Bortuzzo isn’t overly physical. He relies mostly on positioning and body presence to separate forwards from the puck. Bortuzzo also uses his exceptional reach to separate forwards from the puck.

Minor Report: Bortuzzo showed a lot of grit and toughness when he played through a shoulder injury to lead the Kitchener Rangers to the Memorial Cup Championship last season. He had shoulder issues for a few years and suffered a painful separation during the Finals against Belleville. He returned for the last two games of the series as the Rangers won the title. Bortuzzo was a key contributer in the championship run with eight assists and an eye-popping plus-18 rating.

In the offseason, with the Penguins' blessing, Bortuzzi had shoulder surgery and has been sidelined all year but is closed to returning to action. In his first two seasons with Kitchener, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native netted five goals and 27 assists for 32 points and a plus-38 rating.



NATHAN MOON

Position: Center
Attributes: 5-11, 179 pounds, Shoots R
Team: Kingston
League: OHL (Ontario Hockey League)
Acquired: Penguins 2008 fourth-round draft pick (120 overall)

Scouting Report: Moon is a gifted shooter that utilizes a deadly combination of speed and accuracy. He has a powerful slap shot and a quick wrist shot. Moon is projected as a center but has the versatility to play wing. During his junior career, he has improved immensely in his on-ice awareness and playmaking ability. Moon is rounding into a more complete player and has put up impressive offensive totals.

Minor Report: Moon had a breakthrough last season when he exploded for 77 points on 35 goals and 42 assists in 68 games. He was a threat on special teams with 12 power-play goals and five shorthanded scores. Moon had 18 points in his first 15 games this season before suffering a shoulder injury. Since returning his production dropped a little but he’s still totaled 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points in 32 games this year.



JAKE MUZZIN

Position: Defenseman
Attributes: 6-2, 206 pounds, Shoots L
Team: Sault Ste. Marie
League: OHL (Ontario Hockey League)
Acquired: Penguins 2007 fifth-round draft pick (141 overall)

Scouting Report: Muzzin is a well-rounded defenseman who has offensive ability and a hard-nosed approach in his own zone. He has a solid shot and a decent breakout pass. His offensive numbers have risen since his ice time increased. Muzzin is gritty in the defensive zone. He’s fearless when it comes to taking on opponents and fighting for pucks. He enjoys contact and prides himself on clearing the front of the net. Muzzin has dropped the gloves at times and isn’t afraid to take on bigger opponents.

Minor Report: Muzzin is in his third season with the Greyhounds. He only notched four points in limited ice time during his rookie campaign. He improved on those numbers last season with six goals and 12 assists for 18 points and plus-16 rating. He’s nearly topped those numbers in just 35 games on the current campaign. Muzzin already has 17 points (4G-13A) in an increased role with the team.



Prospect Confidential: 12/21
Prospect Confidential: 12/14


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