Veilleux is not the Penguins best option at forward. I wouldn't even say he's number two.
You have Luca Caputi, Dustin Jeffrey, and Nick Johnson heading to the AHL this year. Johnson has a ceiling of about a third line defensive winger, but that isn't a bad thing. Heck, he could surprise all of us and turn out to be a good second line dangler. The jury is out on Caputi, but the ceiling is still very high, taking into account everything he's capable of.
You have Joey Vitale playing in college this year, and once he hits the AHL, he could blossom into top 10 forward.
Down the road, you have Veilleux, Moon and CPZ in Juniors. All three of them are formidable. Out of the bunch, I think CPZ is the best bet to become a top 6 forward. I am probably in the minority on that, but Veilleux's on-ice problems and attitude issues make me put him behind the rest of the class, regardless of his innate talents and size. For some reason, because of what happened last year, are quick to write CPZ off, but I am just as excited about his development and abilities as I was Kris Letang, and you all remember that.
I don't grade prospects simply because they have good size or because they could get it together and become big time scorers. I grade them on what their actual on-ice performance is like. And in actual on-ice performance, Veilleux is behind CPZ, Nathan Moon and the rest of those I just mentioned.
The depth seems shallow because, remember, we just had a mass exodus of players graduate to the next level. Max Talbot, Tyler Kennedy, Erik Christensen, Colby Armstrong, etc.
These junior players/farm players work in an ebb/flow. Right now, we're catching up because we just graduated a ton of prospects.
In fact, what's happening right now with our drafting, is the sign of a good organization. You have guys coming in at all levels and a good plethora of players that can fill various amounts of roles for the team.
Our prospect pool might not be as good as it was, but that's because the quality became tangible in the sense that we have players in the NHL now that were once on that list.