31-Year-Old Left Wing – Buffalo Sabres
Benoit Pouliot Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the Sabres in July 2017.
Pouliot scored his seventh goal of the season and added two helpers in Tuesday's win over the Avalanche.
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Benoit Pouliot: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Pouliot has found decent success in his first two years as an Oiler, potting 33 goals and 70 points in 113 games while consistently holding down a top-six role on a roster teeming with talented forwards. Heís likely to be put in a similar position this season, and perhaps a beefed-up Edmonton blue line could help the veteran post a positive rating for the first time since doing so in 2013-14 with the Rangers. Last seasonís 36 points tied a career high, but the 29-year-old definitely has the ability to exceed that mark if healthy; unfortunately, itís been three years since he cleared 60 games. Furthermore, with Milan Lucic having been imported to take on the role of first-line left wing, Pouliot likely wonít get the luxury of playing with budding superstar Connor McDavid much this year.
Sleeper alert! Pouliot is about to go on the ride of his life. You see, heís now the sidekick to the dynamic duo of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, and the trio clearly have chemistry. Just take a look at what they did together from Mar. 12 onwards last season. Now, you shouldnít expect point-per-game-level production from the winger. But itís not a stretch for him to flirt with 40 points or more in this improving situation. Heíll pick up some points on the second-unit power play and should lay at least 100 hits if he clears 70 games. Heíll be on everyoneís radar on draft day, so gauge his value carefully. The sleeper tag only helps if you can get him with a value pick.
Many were likely surprised when Pouliot received a five-year, $20-million contract from the Oilers this offseason, after totaling just merely 15 goals with the Rangers in 2013-14. Heís probably not worth the amount the Oilers gave him, but the organization always has to overpay to convince free agents to head west. While Pouliot will receive the opportunity to compete for a second-line gig, thereís no guarantee he lands the role with all of David Perron, Teddy Purcell and Nail Yakupov also competing for the two available jobs. Still, it's really hard to believe the Oil would drop that kind of coin on a third-line player. Watch camp carefully and do not draft him until you know where his future lies.
The relationship between Pouliot and the Rangers is a mutual agreement of low-risk, high reward. The Rangers, who had very little wiggle room this past off season took out a flier on Minnesota's fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft. If it fails, the soon-to-be 27-year-old only costs them $1.3 million and would not be shy about releasing him. Although Pouliot has never eclipsed the 35-point mark and battled a shoulder injury in March, he still managed eight goals and 12 assists through 34 games last season. Should he make the team out of camp, it's a fair assumption Pouliot would likely see third and fourth line minutes at best. Now on his fifth team in seven seasons, whether you're in an annual redraft or a dynasty league, Pouliot is merely worth a weekly check in the FA pool.
Pouliot has been handed a free gift -- the possibility of a semi-permanent gig alongside Vinny Lecavalier. He has never lived up to his draft-day hype (he was fourth overall back in 2005) and his best output came last season (16-16-32). But this year, he'll be afforded an opportunity to win that second-line gig and despite Lecavalier's decline, the duo could click. There's an outside shot of 50 points and 80 PIMs, but don't over-invest early. He may not earn the job until the very end of camp.
Pouliot, who scored 13 goals and 30 points in 79 games with Montreal this past season, is a reclamation project who brings size and skill to the table, but has not lived up to his fourth-overall draft position (2005). At one year for $1.1 million though, he's a decent roll of the dice for the Bruins, who are trying to fill the void up front created by the departures of Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi.
Pouliot finished last season very strong for the Canadiens after being traded from Minnesota in exchange for Guillaume Latendresse. Montreal's more open attack might have helped Pouliot emerge as the goal scorer he was thought to be when Minnesota drafted him fourth overall in 2005. He ended up scoring 15 goals and adding nine assists for 24 points in 35 games for the Habs.
Pouliot is one of the Wild's top prospect's heading into this season and seems likely to make the club right out of training camp. He's a talented skater, though his defense still is an unanswered question. He had 11 points in the 37 games last year for the Wild and also had 18 PIMs. He has the talent to make an impact in Minnesota, but it remains to be seen how big of opportunity he'll get this season.
Pouliot should make the Wild roster and center the No. 3 or No. 4 line. He's got some upside as the fourth-overall pick in the 2005 draft drew praise from head coach Jacques Lemaire late last season as well. He may be used less as a defensive player and add more scoring as a result.
Pouliot has the ability to be a terrific goal scorer at the NHL level, but he doesn't pick up many assists; therefore his fantasy value will always suffer a bit. Pouliot didn't have great numbers in his first full pro season with Houston of the AHL, scoring just 19 goals to go along with 36 points in 67 games. Pouliot would benefit from another season in the minors, but he should get a shot to make the Wild out of training camp this season. The fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft is still only 20 years old and has a bright future ahead of him.
Pouliot, the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft, scored 35 goals and 65 points in 51 games for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League last season. He may not make Minnesota's roster out of training camp, but should be called up at some point this season.
Pouliot was the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NHL draft after finishing with 29 goals and 38 assists in 67 games for Sudbury in the Ontario Hockey League. He was named the OHL's rookie of the year in 2004-05. He'll likely return to Sudbury, but at 18 he's a solid keeper prospect as he could be skating for the Wild as soon as 2005-06.
Pouliot is the second-ranked OHL player eligible for the 2005 NHL entry draft. He is blessed with incredible talent, great vision, soft hands and a fluid yet explosive skating style, but he's underweight (180 lbs) for his 6'3" frame. Once he fills out and adds strength, Pouliot has the potential to be a star in the NHL.