Derrick Pouliot has been sent back to the AHL, and reactions are mixed.
The 6’0, 207 lbs defenceman from Estevan, Saskatchewan was taken 8th overall by the Pittsburgh in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and has played in 66 games across three seasons for the Pens.
Pouliot is a speedy, offensive d-man who possesses grit and playmaking skills in about equal measure, making him a versatile prospect with a lot of potential. The biggest knocks against the Saskatchewan native have been his defensive play and his size.
On a Penguins team suddenly bloated with prospective defensemen, Pouliot has been garnering mixed reactions from Penguins Fans. In ten games with the Penguins this season, he has no points and a plus/minus of -4.
Pouliot has been bouncing between the AHL and NHL, and some fans would be more than happy not to see him return to the big club this season. It’s true that his AHL numbers are much more impressive (6 goals, 12 assists for 18 points in 35 games, and a plus/minus of +12 with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season), but if the 23-year-old is going to push his game to the next level he’ll need to find a way to elevate his game.
Frank Corrado was called up to step in for Pouliot, in a move that suggests that the Pittsburgh coaching staff is trying to lock down their 6th and 7th defensemen heading into the offseason. Not everyone in Pittsburgh is a fan of the lineup change however.
Whether you like what Pouliot brings to the table probably has to do with what you value in a defenseman and how forgiving you are on young players. He can potentially be an offensive threat and a great puck mover, but his lapses on the blueline can be costly.