Robert Bortuzzo

by Mark Allan on March 18, 2015
Robert Bortuzzo - Photo Courtesy of penguins.nhl.com

Robert Bortuzzo, D

Shoots: R

Height: 6-4

Weight: 215

Born: 1989-03-18

Hometown: Thunder Bay, ON, CAN

Drafted: 2007 by Pittsburgh, 78th Overall

 

 

 

 

Observations:

March 2015 – In the first of two trade deadline transactions, Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford swapped hard-hitting Bortuzzo and a 2016 seventh-round draft pick to the Blues for 2007 St. Louis first-rounder Ian Cole. Both are restricted free agents after this season. In 38 games this season, the husky Bortuzzo totaled two goals, four assists and 68 PIMs with a minus-6 rating that made it easier to trade him. In 54 games in his first full-time NHL campaign, the 26-year-old puck-moving Cole had modest totals of four goals and five assists with virtually no special-teams ice time. The six-foot-one, 219-pounder had 44 penalty minutes and was an attractive plus-16 on the third pairing with Barret Jackman. While Bortuzzo provided size and physicality, Cole has more experience. Rutherford is feeling pressure in his first season with the Penguins, to bring another Stanley Cup to Pittsburgh. Mark Allan

 

January 2015 – With the return from injury of more established defensemen Kris Letang, Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff, the husky Bortuzzo dropped to a third pairing with Simon Depres. Not known for his offensive flair, the six-foot-four Bortuzzo is playing some hard hockey and discouraging opposing forwards around the Pittsburgh net. In 21 games, he had two goals and four assists with 36 PIMs and a zero plus-minus rating. For now, he’s won the right to stay in the NHL while Derrick Pouliot and Brian Dumoulin are greatly strengthening the blueline of the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Bortuzzo was scratched Jan. 16 in favour of the just-promoted Scott Harrington, although their fortunes reversed for the next game. Mark Allan

 

December 2014 – The 6-4 blueliner tested negative for the mumps, which practically guaranteed him a spot on Pittsburgh’s injury-ravaged blueline. Paired recently with rookie Derrick Pouliot, Bortuzzo has been living up to his reputation and playing steadily in his sophomore season. In 13 games with Pittsburgh, Bortuzzo had two goals, three assists, 18 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating. Mark Allan

 

December 2014 – The big blueliner was tested for the mumps with which teammates Sidney Crosby and Beau Bennett have been diagnosed. Like Bortuzzo, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and defenseman Olli Maatta were also feeling unwell, and were tested for the infectious disease that has been diagnosed in 15 NHL players. In 12 games with Pittsburgh, Bortuzzo has two goals, three assists, 18 penalty minutes and sits with a plus-3 rating. Mark Allan

 

December 2014 – The strapping blueliner is making a name for himself with physical play. Unfortunately for him, he attracted the attention of NHL disciplinarians, receiving a two-game suspension without pay for a late hit on Jaromir Jagr in a 1-0 Pittsburgh win Dec. 2 over the Devils. Although no penalty was assessed, the league referred to the "predatory nature" of the second-period collision, in which a Bortuzzo shoulder to Jagr’s chin drove the New Jersey star into the boards and out of the game. Ironically, Bortuzzo took exception Nov. 21 when enthusiastic hitter Matt Martin of the Islanders bumped Sidney Crosby. In the ensuing tussle, Bortuzzo fed Martin a few good rights as he endeared himself to Pittsburgh’s superstar center. The suspension comes at a bad time for the Penguins, whose star defenseman Kris Letang is on IR with a groin injury. Mark Allan

 

November 2014 – The big, physical defender continues to settle in as an NHL regular after starting the season as a healthy scratch. No Paul Coffey, the 25-year-old nonetheless had a goal and two assists in his first six games of 2014-15 along with a plus-2 rating. It’s not clear if the return of Olli Maatta only two weeks after throat surgery might cut into Bortuzzo’s ice time. Mark Allan

 

November 2014 – One of several promising defensemen in Pittsburgh’s system, the big, physical Bortuzzo scored his first goal of the NHL season, assisted by Crosby and Kunitz, in a 6-1 win Nov. 8 over Buffalo. He was on the ice for 15:15, including 13 seconds killing a penalty. A healthy scratch to start the season, Bortuzzo had a goal and an assist, a five-minute major penalty and a plus-1 rating in three NHL games. Mark Allan

 

October, 2014 – Sidelined by an upper-body injury, the big physical blueliner is close to getting in his first game of the season. If the Penguins decide to leave Derrick Pouliot in the AHL for more conditioning after Olli Maatta departs in about a week for throat surgery, Bortuzzo would surely play some minutes for the Penguins. Bortuzzo might anyway, but his way would be much more clear if he doesn’t have to compete with Pouliot. Mark Allan

 

October 2014 – The big, physical blueliner made the final cut, but was a healthy scratch in Pittsburgh’s first two games of the season. Mark Allan

 

August, 2013 – Robert Bortuzzo is a big, tough defenseman with a good all-around skill set. Bortuzzo spent most of the season with Wilkes-Barre Scranton of the AHL, playing in 31 games and gathering four points while mostly playing a shutdown game. Upon joining Pittsburgh he played very few minutes in his 15 games, but was able to match his AHL point total with four points. Seth Brisendine

 

 

Fantasy Outlook: D

Bortuzzo will most likely remain a third-pairing shut-down for the foreseeable future. Will have good PIM and hit totals, while chipping in 10-15 points per season.

 

Footage:

Robert Bortuzzo’s first NHL goal

 

Bortuzzo flattens Jagr, arouses ire of Tootoo:

 

 

 

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Robert Bortuzzo’s stats courtesy of EliteProspects.com