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Penguins sign pair of 2012 first-round picks

by Adam Kimelman

The Pittsburgh Penguins signed their two 2012 first-round picks Wednesday, defensemen Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta.

Pouliot was selected with the eighth pick, which the Penguins acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on the first night of the NHL Draft as part of the Jordan Staal trade. The 5-foot-11, 192-pound blueliner had 11 goals and 48 assists last season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League. He was fourth among WHL defensemen with 59 points, and second in assists.

Maatta, the 22nd pick, had 32 points in 58 games with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. The Finnish-born 6-2, 206-pounder was the first pick of the 2012 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, and led all OHL rookie defensemen in regular-season scoring with 32 points in 58 games. In the OHL playoffs he led all defensemen with six goals, and tied for the lead with 23 points in 19 games to help London win the league title and advance to the Memorial Cup championship game.

Maatta also played for Finland's team at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, and has been named captain of the team for the 2013 WJC.

Twenty of the 30 players picked in the first round in June have signed entry-level contracts.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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