The Penguins traded center Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night in exchange for center Brandon Sutter and defense prospect Brian Dumolin. The other part of Pittsburgh's return was the No. 8 pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, which they used to select defenseman Derrick Pouliot, a 5-foot-11, 186-pounder from Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Pouliot is an offensive-minded defenseman and put up 11 goals and 48 assists with WHL this past season after posting five goals and 25 assists with the club in 2010-2011.
The scouting report on his NHL Draft page has this to say about his game:
"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."
At the very least, it would appear the Pens have added a solid puck-mover and a guy with the potential to put up some solid numbers on the offensive end. You can bet team executives probably see him as a candidate to man the point on the Pens' power play some day, so it'll be interesting to see how he develops.
Here are some quick Pouliot highlights via YouTube.
Be sure to check out this video from NHL.com, too, in which Pouliot talks about his game.
In the video (in case you don't have the time to sit and watch), Pouliot says he interviewed with 23 teams before the draft. He also said he'd like to improve his defensive game moving forward.