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Pens ’12 first-rounder Pouliot joins AHL affiliate

May 30, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

DerrickPouliot

The future of the Pittsburgh Penguins will soon be on display in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Today, the AHL club announced it had signed defenseman Derrick Pouliot, Pittsburgh’s first-round pick (eighth overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Pouliot, 19, just wrapped a successful campaign with WHL Portland, helping the Winterhawks capture the league title before finishing second at the 2013 Mastercard Memorial Cup in Saskatoon.

He, along with highly-touted ’13 draft prospect Seth Jones, were stars on the Portland blueline this season. Pouliot scored 45 points in 44 regular-season games, then added 20 points in 21 playoff games.

Pouliot should arrive with some fanfare given how the Penguins acquired him.

The spot he was selected at — No. 8 overall — was obtained as part of the Jordan Staal blockbuster deal, one that shook up the draft (which, you’ll remember, was held at the Consol Energy Center.)

Pouliot’s arrival also coincides with another key prospect signing.

Earlier this week, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton announced that Pittsburgh’s other first-round selection in 2012, OHL London defenseman Olli Maatta, would be joining the club as well.

  1. pizzano7416 - May 30, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    This kid looks like the real deal. Can’t wait to see in the big leagues

  2. jpelle82 - May 30, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    he played better than jones during the memorial cup. kid’s good. i wouldnt be surprised if he was cracking the big boy lineup sooner than later. needs to work on his strength and put on some weight but he can skate and move the puck really well.

    • sportsfreak13 - May 30, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      One thing that impressed me when watching him play was his decision making. The kid has a high hockey IQ and sees the game really well. Its going to be fun watching him develop into a NHL players. He is the reason we could afford to let Joe Morrow go.

    • 19to77 - May 30, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      I’m hoping for a pairing with Letang a couple years from now. The offensive potential there is wild if Pouliot keeps improving.

      • ucaneverscorenoughgoals - May 30, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        I think a guy like Harrington would benefit Letang more than a guy like Pouliott because Harrington would be the solid stay at home d-man that Letang could depend on as he decides to join the rush.

        However having Pouliott on in your second d paring would allow for a domiant offensive d-man to jump in the play with either of your top two lines and THAT is a nightmare for the opposition.

  3. 19to77 - May 30, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Wow. Wilkes-Barre is looking deep on defense for next season. And the Pens have a bright future on the blueline with these guys, Harrington, and predictable improvements from Bortuzzo and Despres over time.

    • grizzledvets - May 30, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      Maatta and Pouliot will not be eligible for the AHL next season – it’s either back to their junior clubs (most likely) or up on the big club. They are on amateur try outs now, which allows them to play for WBS since their seasons are over.

      Harrington will be with WBS next season for sure. He should be in the NHL within 1 season as most scouts think he is NHL-ready right now.

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