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2012 NHL Draft Prospect Profiles: Derrick Pouliot

by Greg Fernandez / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins and CONSOL Energy Center will be hosting the 2012 NHL Draft on June 22nd and 23rd. In the days leading up to the event, will be putting the spotlight on some of the best and brightest draft-eligible prospects.

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 186 pounds
Shoots: Left
Born: January 16, 1994
Born in: Estevan, SK, CAN
Played the 2011-12 season with: Portland Winterhawks (Western Hockey League)

2009-10 PORTLAND WHL 7 0 1 1
2010-11 PORTLAND WHL 66 5 25 30
2011-12 PORTLAND WHL 72 11 48 59

NHL Central Scouting: No. 12 among North American skaters
The Hockey News: No. 13
International Scouting Services: No. 19
McKeen’s Hockey: No. 17
Red Line Report: No. 12
TSN: No. 18

NHL Comparison: Brian Campbell
NHL Potential: “May be a secondary offensive defenseman who sees some power play time, a No. 3 or No. 4 puck-moving defender.” –Grant McCagg, TSN

Considered by many scouts as one of the purest skaters in the draft, defenseman Derrick Pouliot has excelled being apart of one of the top defensive teams in the Canadian Hockey League. Playing alongside 2011 first-rounder Joe Morrow, 2011 second-rounder Tyler Wotherspoon and 2009 second-rounder William Wrenn through different points of the season, Pouliot gained valuable experience competing with these Western Hockey League veterans. Even with savvy defensemen present on the Portland Winterhawks roster, Pouliot continued to standout, playing first line power-play minutes and posting 11 goals, 48 assists (most among Portland D-men) and 59 points (2nd among Portland D-men). The offensive-minded defenseman also helped Team Canada capture gold at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka tournament, playing alongside top defensive prospects Ryan Murray, Matt Dumba and Griffin Reinhart.

“A slick skating defenseman who’s effortless on his blades, as they barely skim the ice, making (Pouliot) able to change direction and generate speed in an instant. Due to his outstanding balance, agility and above-average quickness, he can easily maneuver his way through traffic and he draws the opposition to him… In a draft loaded with defensemen, he is still considered amongst the first tier as his work ethic, character and natural ability make him a player that could easily find himself in the NHL.”
-McKeen’s Hockey

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