Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Scouts raving about Maatta, Dumoulin & buzz on Fleury, Martin, Morrow & Tootoo

SCOUTS BUZZ
GM Ray Shero said this past weekend that the Pittsburgh Penguins scouting staff was “ecstatic” after the weekend they put together. They added goaltending depth to their system and defensively, the team continued to stockpile defensemen and I’m told the team made a primary focus point of adding a variety of different type of defenders.
In Derrick Pouliot, the No. 8 overall pick, Pittsburgh added a dynamic offensive defenseman, while in Olli Maatta the No. 22 overall pick and Boston College defenseman Brian Dumoulin (Trade with Carolina), Pittsburgh added two defenders with two-way capabilities and a potential shutdown defenseman in Maatta.
In the Zbynek Michalek trade, Pittsburgh add a thumper in Harrison Ruopp and added another physical player in Clark Seymour, the team’s 5th round pick. Both are less regarded than Maatta and Dumoulin
Overall, scouts have raved about the Penguins landing Olli Maatta at No. 22. More than a few scouts and draft insiders I’ve spoken with had Maatta rated higher than Pouliot and in fact, one I scout I spoke with also raved about Brian Dumoulin, telling me Dumoulin is the “second best defenseman Pittsburgh added to their system” this past weekend behind Maatta, and according to the scout that isn’t a knock on Pouliot who went 8th overall.
“They got a good one there, ” an Eastern Conference scout told me on Saturday who was surprised Maatta fell into the 20’s. “He brings a lot to the table. Lacks elite seed {but} his anticipation to read the play before it happens really stands out with him. Great hockey sense, IQ, ” the scout said. Like his teammate Scott Harrington, Maatta is regarded as being extremely developed defensively for a player his age. What also stands out from evaluators is Maatta’s ability to join the rush, which to no surprise drew the Penguins to him. It’s an area he’s only going to continue to get better.
Dumoulin, 20, is a player that isn’t getting a lot of buzz surrounding him but he’s widely viewed as projecting to be an NHL defenseman down the road. “He’s a huge asset to their organization, one of the best college defenseman in hockey, hands down ” an NHL source said.

Dumoulin spent the past three seasons with reigning NCAA national champion Boston College Eagles and Carolina signed the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Dumoulin to a three-year entry-level contract earlier this spring.
This season, Dumoulin scored seven goals and 28 points in 44 games with the Eagles. Dumoulin’s awards from this past year included being named Best Defensive Defenseman by Hockey East, Hockey East First-Team All-Star, NCAA East First-Team All-American and the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team.
Dumoulin appeared in 123 career games with Boston College, accumulating 11 goals and 83 points. HE WAS A +90 IN HIS CAREER AT BC. In 2010-11, Dumoulin won his first Hockey East Best Defensive Defenseman honor and he was named All-Hockey East First-Team. Dumoulin was also a member of Boston College’s ’09-10 national championship squad.
The left-handed shooting Dumoulin represented the United States at the 2011 World Junior Championships, notching two assists and a plus-four rating in six games.
What scouts love about Dumoulin is that he’s a complete two-way defenseman with great poise with the puck, strong skating ability and he’s really progressed in college defensively, getting great coaching. Some evaluators feel he could be NHL ready by 2013-2014 season.
MORE BUZZ
— A telling quote from Dan Bylsma this weekend on the goaltender situation with Tomas Vokoun in the mix who will push and possibly win starts away from Marc Andre Fleury. “”In the past we’ve scheduled out games for the backup [goalie] to play. It’s going to be a different situation this year.”
— GM Ray Shero on DVE radio this morning about Paul Martin. “I’m not close on anything on Paul Martin, ” Shero said. “I’m not calling teams on Paul Martin, they’re calling me , ” Shero said. Shero basically confirmed that the team is waiting to see what direction the team goes in free agency as indications last night were the Penguins won’t move Martin unless they bring in a top-4 defenseman via trade or free agency. “We’re just going to have to cross that bridge to see what it brings us, ” Shero said. ” We’ll see where this takes us and just have to see what direction we go.”
— Shero on top prospect Joe Morrow who is turning pro this year: “Joe’s not that far away but we’re not in the business of rushing guys. ” Really talented defenseman, offensive guy who can really shoot and we’re missing that outside of Kris Letang.”
— Although the Penguins would like to add size on the wings, one name to keep an eye on in free agency is Nashville Predators winger Jordin Tootoo who despite his 5-foot-9, 200 lbs frame, would add physicality, speed and grit to the Penguins 4th line. Tootoo will hit the open market on July 1 and the Penguins are looking to add a gritty forward, if they decide not to resign Arron Asham as a decision on Asham is still a few days away. Tootoo, 29, has ties to GM Ray Shero in Nashville and had 6 goals and 30 points in 2011-2012. Tootoo led the Predators with 151 hits and 92 penalty minutes. His agent Kevin Epp is expecting Tootoo to be in demand when I spoke with him on Saturday. “We feel he will be a player teams will have a demand for, ” Epp told Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com. Tootoo declined a three year offer from the Predators but at a reduced rate from last years salary of $1.25 million. If the price is right, Pittsburgh will look into him.

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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