The Pittsburgh Penguins made forward Samuel Poulin from the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League their top pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on June 21 in Vancouver, BC. Poulin was selected with the 21st overall pick in the first round.
"Samuel is a high-character player who is a great leader," said director of amateur scouting Patrik Allvin. "He is a good, powerful skater that plays the right way and fits the Penguins' style of hockey. He is capable of playing center or wing but he projects as a winger for us. The Penguins are thrilled to have Samuel."
Poulin, 18, was named captain of the Phoenix for the 2018-19 season and recorded team highs in goals (29), assists (47), and points (76) while skating in 67 regular season games.
The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Poulin helped lead the Phoenix to an upset victory over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the first round of the 2019 QMJHL playoffs. Over the course of the postseason, Poulin led the team in both goals (8) and points (14) in 10 playoff games.
After being selected by Sherbrooke with the second overall pick in the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft, Poulin wowed in his first major-junior season. He finished eighth in assists (29) and tied for 11th in points (45) among all QMJHL rookies.
Despite only playing two seasons for the Phoenix, Poulin was able to produce prolific offensive totals, recording the seventh-most points (121) in franchise history.
The Laval, Quebec native represented his home country at the 2019 Under-18 World Junior Championship, recording one goal and one assist while skating in all seven games for Team Canada.
Poulin comes from NHL lineage as his father, Patrick, was drafted ninth overall by the Hartford Whalers in the 1991 NHL Draft. He notched 101 goals, 134 assists, and 235 points in 634 career NHL games with Hartford, Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Montreal.
The pick marks the first time the Penguins have made a first-round selection since Kasperi Kapanen was taken with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.