Latest Pens Buzz: Swiss star Damien Brunner on Pens radar?

PENS INTERESTED IN BRUNNER BUT HOW SERIOUS?
Penguin scouts have had their eye on 26 year old Swiss star Damien Brunner for over a year now but whether the Penguins emerge as a serious suitor for Brunner this summer remains to be seen.
The Penguins had expressed early interest in Brunner, sources confirm, but a source close to the situation indicates Brunner has yet to open up negotiations with interested NHL teams and Brunner intends to take his time on weighing a move to the NHL.
Brunner who can reach an agreement with an NHL team at anytime, can’t officially sign until July 1.
Brunner’s camp hopes to pick up discussions with interested NHL teams in a few weeks and bring Brunner to Pittsburgh for the draft to meet with interested suitors if Brunner can get over here.
Members of the Penguins organization had a close eye on Brunner during the World Championships as he went up against NHL type competition and produced 3 goals and 4 assists for seven points and a plus-2 rating in seven games at the World Championships.
Brunner had 24 goals and 60 points for ZUG this season, including 14 points in 9 playoff games.
SCOUTS WEIGH IN ON BRUNNER

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound winger, a right handed shot, is regarded by some scouts as a potential top-6 forward at the NHL level and the intrigue about Brunner is that he’s not a long-term project and could make an impact now.
One scout on Brunner: “Highly skilled, great speed and goes to the gritty areas, ” the scout said.
What has intrigued the Penguins is the potential fit in Dan Bylsma’s style as Brunner has all the tools to fit into Bylsma’s offensive attacking system.
The common phrase to describe Brunner from scouts, GM’s is “highly skilled and fast.” That’s a reason several teams have expressed interest. The Tampa Bay Lightning are among the teams to publicly express interest in Brunner.
One scout we spoke with believes Brunner can make the transition to the NHL.
“From a scouting perspective, the biggest question with highly skilled players like Brunner with great speed is how they {will} use that speed in a smaller ice surface, ” the scout said. “Brunner is extremely competitive and skilled players who are competitive can bring their game to small ice.”

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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