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NHL Draft 2012: Penguins Select Derrick Pouliot With No. 8 Pick

The Pittsburgh Penguins had an eventful ten minutes on Friday night at the 2012 NHL Draft, trading Jordan Staal for a package that included the Carolina Hurricanes' No. 8 pick in the 1st Round. With the building still stirring from the trade announcement, Penguins General Manager Ray Shero strode to the podium to make the selection. Shero opted to go with a defenseman who many considered to be the best offensive blue-liner in the draft, Derrick Pouliot.

Pouliot is a prospect from the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League. The Staal trade netted center Brandon Sutter and defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who just signed his entry-level deal in April. But Pouliot is yet another stud prospect, with analysts citing Kris Letang as a potential NHL comp. More on Pouliot from SB Nation's Travis Hughes:

A native of Estevan, Saskatchewan, Pouliot was ranked No. 12 among all North American skaters by NHL central scouting, and ranked No. 17 overall by TSN. Pouliot could be labeled a potential power play quarterback, with a solid 48 assists during the 2011-12 Western Hockey League season. He also scored 11 goals, and finished second in scoring among Portland blueliners with 59 points. During his rookie season in 2010-11, Pouliot scored 30 points and notched 25 assists for Portland in 66 games.

For more on the NHL Draft, check out SB Nation's NHL hub page.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.