22-Year-Old Defenseman – Pittsburgh Penguins
Derrick Pouliot Contract Information:
Agreed to an entry-level contract with the Penguins in September of 2012.
Despite playing against AHL regulars Tuesday, Pouliot did little to stand out. "I thought Derrick was ... OK," coach Mike Sullivan said to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I'd like to see him be more assertive on the ice with his decision making. Just see him be a little bit quicker, a little more decisive. I think that will come in time. There's obviously a lot of rust involved for the player."
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Derrick Pouliot: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Derrick Pouliot.
Pouliot is one of the most intriguing offensive blue line prospects in the league, and at the tender age of 21, it seems like he's ready to make the leap to a full-time position with the Penguins. A former first-round pick (eighth overall in 2012), he's an enthusiastic shooter and accomplished puck distributor who's already earned a place on the Penguins' power play. He's going to grow into a star on the blue line in time, but how quickly that happens is dependent on whether the team's top two defensemen, Olli Maatta and Kris Letang, can stay healthy enough to limit Pouliot to second-pairing minutes. Even in that role, he promises to make himself known to the league in this campaign, with 25 or 30 points looking like a very achievable outcome.
Pouliot underwent shoulder surgery in the spring and may miss the opening month or so of 2014-15. The eighth overall pick in 2012, Pouliot has produced tons of offense while playing for Portland in the WHL. He totaled 70 points (17 goals, 53 assists) in 58 games and added an additional 32 points in 21 playoff games. Make no mistake, the 20-year-old blueliner is all offense, all of the time. Pouliot showed off his skill for Team Canada on the World Junior roster and played in one playoff game for the Wilkes-Barre Penguins. He's expected to skate for AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during his first professional season, but there's a chance the big club could call him up at some point. Pouliot's keeper league value is high; single-season owners will want to keep an eye on his progress after he returns from shoulder surgery.
Pouliot will get his first taste of pro action in 2013-14. He averaged just over a point per game with the WHL Portland Winterhawks (45 points in 44 games), scoring at a higher rate than teammate Seth Jones (56 points in 61 games). Pouliot is all about offense and projects as a big-time fantasy player in Pittsburgh. Taken seventh overall in the 2012 draft, the left-handed shooting blueliner will be a force to be reckoning with in the coming seasons. He'll likely hone his skills with the Baby Penguins in 2013-14 with a shot at making the NHL team as soon as 2014-15.
The Penguins selected Pouliot with the 2012 eighth-overall pick they acquired from Carolina in the Jordan Staal trade. Pouliot is all offense at this stage of his career and will need to focus on defense. Fantasy owners can likely live with that description of his current skillset, however. A former WHL teammate of fellow Penguins prospect Joe Morrow, Pouliot collected 59 points (11G, 48 A) in 72 games for the Portland Winterhawks. Pouliot will take on greater responsibility with Morrow expected to skate for the Baby Pens in Wilkes-Barre. He's near the top of an impressive list of offensive defensemen in Pittsburgh's coiffures.