New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent forward Benoit Pouliot.
Pouliot, 26, skated in 34 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning this past season, registering eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points, along with 15 penalty minutes. He led the team in plus-minus rating (plus-8). Pouliot registered a four-game point streak from February 12 vs. Montreal to February 19 vs. Toronto (two goals, five assists over the span).
In 2011-12, Pouliot skated in 74 games for the Boston Bruins, registering 16 goals and 16 assists for 32 points, along with 38 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in goals, points, and plus-minus rating (plus-18). Pouliot recorded a four-game point streak from December 17 at Philadelphia to December 28 at Phoenix (three goals, one assist over the span). He skated in seven playoff games, registering one goal and one assist for two points, along with six penalty minutes.
The 6-3, 205-pounder has skated in 291 career regular season NHL games with Minnesota, Montreal, Boston and Tampa Bay, registering 61 goals and 63 assists for 124 points, along with 201 penalty minutes. He made his NHL debut with Minnesota on November 22, 2006 at Montreal, and recorded his first career NHL goal on March 22, 2008 at Calgary. Pouliot established career-highs in games played (79), assists (17) and penalty minutes (87) with Montreal in 2010-11. He tallied his 100th career NHL point with Boston on March 25, 2012 at Anaheim.
In post-season play, Pouliot has registered one goal and three assists for four points, along with 19 penalty minutes in 29 games. Pouliot made his NHL playoff debut on April 17, 2008 with Minnesota vs. Colorado. He recorded his first career NHL playoff assist/point with Montreal on April 15, 2010 at Washington. Pouliot recorded his first career NHL playoff goal with Boston on April 14, 2012 vs. Washington.
Pouliot has skated in 146 career regular season games in the American Hockey League (AHL), registering 39 goals and 48 assists for 87 points, along with 200 penalty minutes. He established AHL career-highs in games played (67), goals (19), assists (17), points (36), and penalty minutes (109) with the Houston Aeros in the 2006-07 season. Pouliot has skated in 25 career AHL playoff games, registering one goal and seven assists for eight points, along with 32 penalty minutes.
Prior to turning professional, Pouliot played parts of three seasons with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), registering 66 goals and 70 assists for 136 points, along with 243 penalty minutes in 122 regular season games.
The Alfred, Ontario native was originally selected by Minnesota in the first round, fourth overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.