A physical player who doesn't fill up the score sheet, Bortuzzo is a smooth skater and reliable puck-mover with a coveted right-hand shot.
The Pittsburgh Penguins selected him in the third round (No. 78) in the 2007 NHL Draft, before he helped Kitchener win the Ontario Hockey League championship and reach the Memorial Cup final in 2008. Bortuzzo turned pro in 2009-10 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, and his plus-13 rating led the club's defensemen that season. His steady play helped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton give up the fewest goals in the AHL in 2010-11 (183) and 2012-13 (178).