Penguins out of the mix for Swiss star Damien Brunner who is close to signing with an NHL team

PENS out of mix for Brunner
The Pittsburgh Penguins had expressed early interest in 26 year old Swiss star Damien Brunner, but an NHL source close to the situation tells me today that the Penguins are out of the mix for Brunner.
“Pittsburgh has moved on, ” an NHL source said.
Brunner, according to the source, has decided to come to North America and will be signing with an NHL team in the next week. Brunner who can reach an agreement with an NHL team at anytime, can’t officially sign until July 1. Agent Neil Sheehy is currently involved in negotiations with NHL teams.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have long been considered a front runner for Brunner. The Red Wings and Wild are also among the teams to express interest.
NHL teams 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.
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.
The common phrase to describe Brunner from scouts, GM’s is “highly skilled and fast.” That’s a reason several teams had expressed interest.
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.”

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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