Our first look at how Penguin prospects are faring this season:
Professional level (age in parenthesis):
Wilkes-Bare Scranton Penguins
Luca Caputi (20): 23 games played, 6 goals, 6 assists, +5
--Caputi's the 8th leading scorer as a rookie on a very competitive AHL team. He's been lauded for his offensive game and also has seemed impressive away from the puck according to reports. Caputi's probably the Penguins best prospect at this point.
Dustin Jeffrey (20): 24 gp, 3g, 11a, 6+
--Jeffrey's fourth on the team in assists and now that Janne Pesonen and Chris Minard are in Pittsburgh he's starting to get more icetime and opportunities.
Ben Lovejoy (24): 24 gp, 4g, 10a, +14
--Cited as a possible replacement for a Rob Scuderi-type defensive defensemen, Lovejoy has had a great season so far...His +/- is tops on the team..Last year(his first in the pros) he only scored 2 goals and 18 assists, so he's well on pace to up his production.
Janne Pesonen (26): 20gp, 5g, 16a, +4
--Pesonen's been among the best players at the AHL level, but it remains to be seen if he will be a player at the NHL level.
Nick Johnson (22): 18gp, 14g, 10a, +6
--Johnson, a former 3rd round pick, scored a goal in his first game for WB/S...Johnson at 6'2, 200 has the size to make a difference, it'll be interesting to see how he develops. The injury situation in Pittsburgh is a chance for him to be more involved.
Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)
Keven Veilleux (19) 17 games played, 8 goals, 12 assists, 20 points, +3
--Veilleux missed some games earlier in the season with injury, but has been having a very fine season for when he has be on the ice. Sometimes the knack on big players like Veilleux (6'5, 215) is they don't produce very early in their careers. By establishing himself as a PPG+ player in the "Q, KV's having no such issues.
Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Casey Pierro-Zabotel (20) 28 gp, 10g, 34a, +26
--CPZ has had a nomadic career so far, after he couldn't make eligibility for the NCAA, he decided to go to the WHL and he's been able to settle in and fufill his promise. The Giants are the #1 team in the league so far and CPZ is the leading scorer on the team, and 3rd in the league.
St. Johns Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
Alex Grant (19) 27gp, 6g, 19a, 25p, -3
--Grant, a defensemen lauded for physical play, is the leading defensive scorer on his team and 2nd in penalty minutes.
Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Nathan Moon (18) 27gp, 11g, 17a, 28p, -13
--Moon, the Penguins highest draft pick from 2008 (4th round), is leading his team in scoring. But, as one might hazard to guess from looking at his plus/minus, Moon's team is not that great; sporting a 6-19-6 record.
Carl Sneep (21) 15 games played, 1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points
--Sneep, now a Junior, is the highest scoring defenseman on the Eagles. Interesting note: Brooks Orpik's little brother Andrew is a 4th line forward on this team.
Brian Strait (20) 15gp, 1g, 1a, 2p, 26 PIMs
--Strait, a Jr., leads his team in penalty minutes...Last season he had 10 assists in 37 games.