Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Latest Prospect Update for 11/14/12: Tracking the Penguins Top-35 Prospects

TRACKING PENGUINS TOP-35 PROSPECTS

RISING PROSPECT: Paul Thompson, Wilkes Barre/Scranton – Has made the type of jump in his second professional season that the Penguins had hoped. Thompson has a natural hat trick and 2 goal game this season, leading the Baby Penguins with 9 points. Earning second line minutes this season, Thompson is a complete player who can be counted on in all situations and Thompson’s offensive game is starting to evolve. Has moved up six spots in our rankings since the Summer
Who’s Hot: Derrick Pouliot, Portland Winterhawks – Pouliot ranks 5th among WHL defensemen with 20 points in 20 games and has 9 points in his last 6 games.
Who’s Not: Scott Wilson, Umass-Lowell – Wilson who was one of the best freshmen players in college hockey last season, has just 1 point and a team worst minus-6 rating in 7 games.
NOVEMBER PROSPECT RANKINGS (Top-35)
1. D Joe Morrow | 2011 1st rd pick | Wilkes Barre/Scranton |
2012-2013 Stats: 9 GP – 1 Goal – 2 Assists – 3 Pts – -3 rating – 15 PIM
Buzz:  When in the lineup, Morrow has worked as a No. 3 pairing and he’s had some early growing pains so far.
2. D Simon Despres | 2009 1st rd pick | Wilkes Barre/Scranton |
2012-2013 Stats: 12 GP – 0 Goals – 2 Assists – 2 Pts – -1 – 17 PIM
Buzz: Working as a No. 2 pairing behind Brian Strait and Robert Bortuzzo, Despres has played well in his own zone, according to observers.
3. D Scott Harrington | 2011 2nd rd pick | London Knights|
2012-2013 Stats: 20 GP – 1 Goal – 4 Assists – 5 Pts – +6 – 10 PIM |
Buzz: Harrington last week was named captain for Team OHL for the on-going Subway Series.
4. D Olli Maatta | 2012 1st rd pick | London Knights |
2012-2013 Stats: 20 GP – 3 Goals – 15 Assists – 18 Pts – +3 – 14 PIM |
Buzz: Scouts continue to buzz about Maatta’s improved play in the transition game and his evolving confidence in the offensive zone. Maatta ranks 3rd on the team in points and is averaging 0.90 points per game. With his ability as a defender, scouts believe he might be developing into the Penguins most complete prospect on the backend.
5. D Derrick Pouliot | 2012 1st rd pick |Portland Winterhawks |
2012-2013 Stats: 20 GP – 5 Goals – 15 Assists – 20 Pts – +14 – 21 PIM |
Buzz: Pouliot has 9 points in his last 6 games and ranks 5th among all WHL defensemen in points. Pouliot is averaging a point per game, after having 59 points in 72 games last season.
6. RW Beau Bennett | 2010 1st rd pick | Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins
2012-2013 Stats: 12 GP – 1 Goal – 6 Assists – 7 Pts – -2 – 6 PIM
Buzz: Bennett continues to earn praise from observers and scouts about his vision and ability to create offense as a playmaker in the offensive zone. The knock on Bennett is that he has to get away from being a perimeter player. He has just 20 shots in 12 games.
7. D Brian Dumoulin |Acq from CAR | Wilkes Barre/Scranton |
2012-2013 Stats: 11 GP – 0 Goals – 4 Assists – 4 Pts – -2 – 4 PIM
Buzz: Dumuolin has held his own defensively but observers indicate he’s been out of place at times trying to run the point on the second power play unit at times.
8. C Teddy Blueger | 2012 2nd rd pick | Minnesota State |
2012-2013 Stats: 10 GP – 2 Goals – 3 Assists – 5 Pts – +2 – 12 PIM
Buzz: The Penguins most skilled forward in their system behind Beau Bennett, Blueger was a factor early on for Minnesota State, collecting a goal and 2 assists in the Mavericks first four games but Blueger has just two points in his last six games.
9. D Robert Bortuzzo | 2007 3rd round pick |Wilkes Barre/Scranton |
2012-2013 Stats: 5 GP – 0 Goals – 1 Assist – 1 Pts – +2 – 4 PIM
Buzz: Bortuzzo returning to the lineup has been big for the Baby Penguins, working as a shutdown pair with Brian Strait. Scouts strongly contend Bortuzzo is an NHL player now.
10. LW Tom Kuhnhackl | 2010 4th round pick |
Wilkes Barre Scranton / Wheeling Nailers
2012-2013 Stats (WBS): 5 GP – 0 Goals – 0 Assists – 0 Pts – -1 – 4 PIM
2012-2013 Stats (WHL): 2 GP – 1 Goal – 0 Assists – 1 Pts – +2 – 2 PIM
Buzz: Kuhnhackl has bounced between Wheeling and Wilkes Barre due to injuries. Observers tell me he’s been a bit overmatched in the AHL.
11. D Nick D’agostino | Cornell | 2008 7th rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 6 GP – 1 Goal – 2 Assists – 3 Pts – +1 – 8 PIM
12. F Kenny Agostino | Yale | 2010 5th rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 6 Gp – 4 Goals – 4 Assists – 8 Pts – 8 PIM
Buzz: Agostino has a team leading 4 goals and 8 points on the season and had a goal and an assist in Yale’s 4-2 victory over St. Lawrence on Saturday night. The Penguins 2010 5th round pick is nearly averaging a point per game in his college career with 67 points in 70 career games.
13. F Dominik Uher | 2011 5th rd pick |
Wilkes Barre Scranton | Wheeling Nailers
2012-2013 Stats (WBS): 8 GP – 0 Goals – 2 Assists – 2 Pts – +1 – 0 PIM
2012-2013 Stats (WHL): 2 GP – 0 Goals – 0 Assists 0 pts – 0+/- – 0 PIM
Buzz: Uher has found a spot on the Baby Penguins 4th line and he fits all the capabilites of an energy role player. He should develop an offensive game as he adjusts to the AHL game. A complete player who plays the Penguin type of way.
14. D Carl Sneep | 2006 2nd rd pick |Wilkes Barre/Scranton |
2012-2013 Stats (WBS): 1 GP – 0 Goals – 0 Assists – 0 Pts – 0 +/- – 0 PIM
2012-2013 Stats (WHL): 4 GP – 0 Goals – 3 Assists – 3 Pts – +1 – 2 PIM
Buzz: Sneep has 3 assists in 4 games for the Nailers.
15. D Philip Samuelsson | 2009 2nd rd pick |Wilkes Barre/Scranton|
2012-2013 Stats: 6 GP – 0 Goals – 0 Assists – 0 Pts – 0+/- – 6 PIM
Buzz: Samuelsson has found his way in the lineup for half of the games so far as head coach John Hynes tries to work all of his defensemen in.
16. F Keven Veilleux | 2007 2nd rd pick |Wilkes Barre/Scranton
2012-2013 Stats (WHL): 3 GP – 1 Goal – 1 Assist – 2 Pts – -1 – 0 PIM
Buzz: Working his way back from a major knee injury, Veilleux appeared in 3 games with Wheeling and is scheduled to play for Wilkes Barre this week.
17. C Oscar Sundqvist | Skellefteå J20 | 2012 3rd rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 18 GP – 9 Goals – 11 Assists – 20 Pts – +12 – 16 PIM
18. LW Ben Hanowski | St. Cloud State | 2009 3rd rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 5 GP – 3 Goals – 2 Assists – 5 Pts – +1 – 2 PIM
Buzz: Hanowski is averaging a point per game and is second on the team with 24 shots on goal but has played in just 5 games due to injury.  The Huskie’s captain has been sidelined since October 27th with an upper body injury and is reportedly close to being cleared for practices.
19. F Josh Archibald | Nebraska-Omaha| 2011 6th rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 10 GP – 6 Goals – 3 Assists – 9 Pts – +5 – 12 PIM
Buzz: Archibald is putting together a very strong sophomore campaign with a team-leading 6 goals. According to one observer, Archibald has seen increased minutes in key offensive situations this season. He had a solid freshman campaign with 10 goals in 2011-2012 and is taking that next step offensively.
20. LW Scott Wilson | UMass-Lowell |2011 7th rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 7 GP – 1 Goal – 0 Assists – 1 Pts – -6- 2 PIM
Buzz: After a 16 goal, 38 point freshman season, Wilson is in a bit of a sophomore slump with just 1 goal in 7 games and has been a minus player in 5 of 7 games, boasting a team worst minus-6 rating.

21. RW Matia Marcantuoni | Kitchener Rangers | 2012 4th rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 16 GP – 2 Goals – 3 Assists – 5 Pts – -1 – 8 PIM |
Buzz: Marcantuoni missed four games with a fractured finger and returned to the lineup on November 11th. He has been skating on a top line with Matt Puempel and Tobias Rieder but hasn’t put up strong offensive numbers. Marcantuoni though is a player that one scout told me a few weeks ago, always catches your eye because of his speed, calling him a dangerous player on PK. However, he continues to show signs of a player whose great individual skills doesn’t lead to offensive production.

22. RW Anton Zlobin | Val-d’Or | 2012 6th rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 20 GP – 11 Goals – 18 Assists – 29 Pts – +7- – 6 PIM |
Buzz: Zlobin who is playing for Team Russia in the Subway Series, has put together a strong season with Val-d’Or, collecting 29 points in 20 games. He continues to be a rising prospect in the Penguins system.
23. RW Paul Thompson | UDFA |Wilkes Barre/Scranton
2012-2013 Stats: 12 GP – 6 Goals – 3 Assists – 9 Pts – +1 – 13 PIM
Buzz: Thompson has moved up 6 spots since our Summer rankings and could move into the top-20 by the end of the season. He leads Wilkes Barre with 9 points on the season.
24. D Alex Grant | 2007 4th rd pick |Wilkes Barre/Scranton |
2012-2013 Stats: 4 GP – 0 Goals – 1 Assists – 1 Pts – -2 – 2 PIM
Buzz: Grant continues to be a healthy scratch and has fallen out of the top-6 in Wilkes Barre.
25. F Jason Megna | UDFA |Wilkes Barre/Scranton |
2012-2013 Stats: 1 GP – 0 Goals – 0 Assists – 0 Pts – 0 +/- – 0 PIM
Buzz: After a strong preseason, Megna has battled injuries to open the year.
26. D Reid McNeill | 2010 6th rd pick |Wheeling Nailers|
2012-2013 Stats: 11 GP – 0 Goals – 3 Assists – 3 Pts – 0 +/- – 17 PIM
Buzz: McNeil has an even rating in 11 games for the Nailers.
27. G Matthew Murray | Sault Ste. Marie | 2012 3rd rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 9-8-1, 3.98 GAA, .896 SV%
Buzz: After starting the season 4-1, Murray has been up and down on the season with a 3.98 goals against average and .896 save percentage.
28. C Zach Sill | UDFA |Wilkes Barre/Scranton
2012-2013 Stats: 2 GP – 0 Goals – 0 Assists – 0 Pts – +1 – 0 PIM
Buzz: Sill has battled injuries early on, appearing in just 2 games.
29. D Alex Velischek | Providence College | 2009 5th rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 9 GP – 0 Goals – 4 Assists – 4 Pts – +7 – 14 PIM
30. RW Adam Payerl | UDFA |
Wilkes Barre Scranton / Wheeling Nailers
2012-2013 Stats (WBS): 5 GP – 1 Goal – 0 Assists – 1 Pts – 0+/- – 5 PIM
31. F Bryan Rust | Notre Dame | 2010 3rd rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 9 GP – 2 Goal – 4 Assists – 6 Pts – +5 – 2 PIM
Buzz: After just an 11 point campaign in 2011-2012, Rust ranks second on the Irish with 6 points in 9 games. He’s playing more of a second line role this season and scouts praise his ability as a penalty killer.  
32. D Clark Seymour | Peterborough Petes | 2012 5th rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 20 GP – 2 Goals – 6 Assists – 8 Pts – -2 – 17 PIM
33. D Harrison Ruopp | Prince Albert Raiders | acq from PHX |
2012-2013 Stats: 21 GP – 1 Goal – 6 Assists – 7 Pts – +7 – 34 PIM
34. G Sean MaGuire | Boston University | 2012 4th rd pick |
2012-2013 Stats: 0-2-0, 4.61 GAA, .854 SV%
35. F Brian Gibbons | UDFA |Wilkes Barre/Scranton |
2012-2013 Stats: 12 GP – 2 Goals – 3 Assists – 5 Pts – 0+/- – 4 PIM

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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