Derrick Pouliot 2012 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

This draft profile is on Portland Winterhawks defender Derrick Pouliot. He is an offensive defenseman who will spend next season playing alongside Texas Native and 2013 top prospect Seth Jones. He was the first overall WHL Bantam draft pick in 2009.


Derrick Pouliot

Defenseman / Portland Winterhawks - WHL

5-11

January 16 1994
Hometown: Weyburn - Saskatoon

Shoots: Left


GP G A P +/- PIM Playoffs GP G A P +/- PIM
2010-11 - Portland Winterhawks 66 5 25 30 +13 38 -- 21 1 3 4 +3 16
2011-12 - Portland Winterhawks 72 11 48 59 +15 79 -- 22 3 14 17 +4 18

Rankings:

Final CSS North American Rank: 12th
Future Considerations: 14th
ISS: 22nd
Hockey Prospect: 12th
The Hockey Guys: 16th
Craig's List: 18th

The Hockey Writers

Most notably, Pouliot has been lauded for his passing, which the WHL from Above blog describes as "sublime," calling him the best defensive passer in this draft class. That's pretty high praise considering it puts him above the Dumbas, Reinharts and Cecis of the world. Moreover, this improvement has resulted in more power-play time for him, which has also allowed him to improve his scoring numbers - his goal totals doubled this year over last, and his power-play markers jumped from one to six... While Pouliot has many assets, there are a few factors that place him slightly below the other defenders in the draft. Like a lot of maturing defenders, he sometimes struggles away from the puck and is still figuring out exactly where he needs to be without the biscuit, especially in his own zone.

Scouting Report (Mid Term Rankings)

After being selected #1 overall in the WHL bantam draft, Portland's Derick Pouliot continues to develop into a top offensive defenseman in the WHL. A silky smooth skater, Pouliot has spent time on the talented team's top powerplay unit for much of the season. He has a good - if not overly powerful - shot from the point, that he gets through traffic and on net with regularity. While he is an above average passer, Pouliot is sometimes the victim of trying to do too much, and is susceptible to the occasional glaring mistake. The mid-sized defenseman certainly has the skillset to be a future powerplay quarterback at the next level, but at this point should to be considered a bit of a project by whichever team selects him on draft day.

Last Word On Sports

Pouliot is still a solid prospect, especially with the emphasis on puck moving, mobile defencemen in the NHL today. We think he may need some time, and his defensive game makes him a bit of a long term project, but one that some NHL team will be happy to take on in the first round. If he can improve, we see Pouliot's high end potential as an offensive defenceman who who would be similar to Brian Campbell of the Florida Panthers.

Dobber Hockey Prospects

Derrick Pouliot is an elite WHL rearguard often commended for his offensive skills, but he has a brash defensive game to go along with his scoring prowess. Likely to be a first-round NHL selection at the 2012 draft, Pouliot's greatest attributes are his silky strides and calmness distributing the puck. He isn't opposed to dropping the gloves either, posting three fighting majors in 2011-12.

Conclusion

Derrick Pouliot will likely become an incredibly talented offensive defenseman at the NHL level. He has the skills and vision to produce a lot of points. His passing and vision are better than nearly all the defenders in this draft and better than those who are surrounding him in the draft rankings: Dumba, Reinhart and Ceci. Since being selected number one in the Bantam draft he has fitted in seamlessly with the Portland Winterhawks. With Seth Jones joining the Winterhawks next season, most likely as Pouliot's defensive partner, Pouliot is going to continue to contribute highly to their organisation.

His main weaknesses, and the reason behind him falling behind such other defensive prospects such as Cody Ceci, Griffin Reinhart etc, is that his own defending is very weak. It's not unusual for young defenders to have this flaw of not knowing exactly where to be in their own zone but it needs to be worked on significantly for Pouliot to reach his potential.

Derrick Pouliot is one of the defenders that will be available around the time that the Stars draft. The Stars are not adverse to picking projects who will take their time to reach the NHL so Derrick Pouliot is a serious possibility. However occasionally generously listed as 6"0 he is closer to 5"11 and as the Dallas Stars have set a trend recently of picking large, generally 6"0 or bigger, he might not appeal to the Stars scouts. However the Stars have a history of drafting and picking up free agents out of the WHL and Derrick Pouliot is a tempting option for a Stars organisation that is lacking in elite offensive defensive talent.

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