Penguins Add Size, Skill And Depth at Draft
|Angelo Esposito/Getty Images|
They believe they achieved it Saturday as the two-day event concluded at Nationwide Arena. The Penguins selected three centers, three defensemen and a winger in Rounds 2-7.
The moves complement the selection of Angelo Esposito in Friday night’s first round.
“I think it went real well. I think we really added a nice mixture of forwards and defensemen,” Penguins General Manager
However, there were no surprises for
“I think the scouting staff did a real good job. They were very prepared. But, they weren’t very prepared to have a nametag produced for Angelo Esposito’s jersey, so they did a good job except for that one,” Shero said with a laugh. “We’re taking some chances on kids like every other team, but I think that’s what you need to do. We’re happy with the guys we got.
|Keven Veilleux/Getty Images|
“These guys are going to take time, there’s no doubt. Let’s be honest, not all of these guys are going to be able to make it, let alone be a regular player in the AHL. That just seems to be how it works out and that’s OK,” he continued. “I think development is really good. We have some guys going to college and that will buy some time with their development and we have some guys who will go back to juniors for a couple years. So, we’re buying some years for these players who are eventually going to be in our system. With the way free agency is in our league now at 27, you need players to fill some spots. Hopefully, we have found a few who could do that.”
The Penguins picked center Keven Veilleux from Victoriaville (QMJHL) in the second round (51st overall). The 6-4, 202 pound center is a native of
“He’s a big guy who can play center and wing. His size was a huge factor for us. We’ll see,” Shero said. “I think he has a little ways to go, like the rest of them. He’ll go back and play junior hockey next year and I think that will be a big step for him.”
Veilleux speaks very little English, but certainly knows about the Penguins.
|Casey Pierro-Zabotel/Getty Images|
“Crosby, Malkin – he knows our team and, obviously, he knows the top players,” he said via Penguins assistant coach
The Penguins had a pair of third-round choices and used them on defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (78th overall) and center Casey Pierro-Zabotel (80th). The 6-3, 196-pound Bortuzzo had 14 points and 67 penalty minutes in 63 games with
Pierro-Zabotel will attend Michigan Tech next season.
“I am excited to go there. It’ll be a good year,” he said. “There were other colleges, but I chose Michigan Tech because I thought it’d give me the best opportunity to play.”
The Penguins had two fourth-round selections as well. They chose winger Luca Caputi with the 111th-overall choice and defenseman Alex Grant with the 118th-overall pick.
Last season, the 6-2, 184-pound Caputi had 65 points (27+38) in 68 games with
In the fifth round, the Penguins selected Jake Muzzin with the 141st pick. The 6-2, 206-pound defenseman had four points (1+3) in 37 games with Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL last year.
PENGUINS DRAFT PICKS
20. Angelo Esposito
51. Keven Veilleux
78. Robert Bortuzzo
80. Casey Pierro-Zabotel
111. Luca Caputi
|2004-05||Mississauga Ice Dogs||OHL||48||5||1||6||25||--||--||--||--||--|
|2005-06||Mississauga Ice Dogs||OHL||32||3||0||3||43||--||--||--||--||--|
|2006-07||Mississauga Ice Dogs||OHL||68||27||38||65||66||5||2||1||3||0|
118. Alex Grant
|2005-06||Saint John Sea Dogs||QMJHL||47||4||9||13||58||--||--||--||--||--|
|2006-07||Saint John Sea Dogs||QMJHL||68||12||20||32||108|
141. Jake Muzzin
|2006-07||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||OHL||37||1||3||4||10||13||0||4||4||6|
171. Dustin Jeffrey
|2004-05||Mississauga Ice Dogs||OHL||53||10||15||25||20||--||--||--||--||--|
|2005-06||Mississauga Ice Dogs||OHL||30||6||9||15||26||--||--||--||--||--|
|2005-06||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||OHL||39||12||11||23||10||4||1||2||3||2|
|2006-07||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||OHL||68||34||58||92||40||13||6||12||18||11|