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2012 NHL Draft Class: Derrick Pouliot

Portland Winterhawks d-man Derrick Pouliot talks about the upcoming 2012 NHL Draft.

Friday, 15.06.2012 / 2:30 PM / Feature
By Kristi Hennessy  - Coordinator, Web Content
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2012 NHL Draft Class: Derrick Pouliot
Derrick Pouliot is yet another strong defenceman on the list of the 2012 draft class prospects. He is ranked 12th overall for North American skaters according to NHL Central Scouting rankings.

Derrick Pouliot is yet another strong defenceman on the list of the 2012 draft class prospects. He is ranked 12th overall for North American skaters according to NHL Central Scouting rankings. Pouliot has spent the last three seasons with the Portland Winterhawks.

After playing just seven games in his rookie season he became a full-time defender with the Hawks in 2010. He tallied five goals and 25 assists for a 30-point season and a plus-13 that year. He nearly doubled his point total this season as he posted 11 goals and 48 assists for 59 points in 72 games, on a very successful Portland team. The Winterhawks made it all the way to a seventh game of the WHL Championship before losing to the Edmonton Oil Kings, missing a ticket into the Memorial Cup for the second straight year. He added three goals and 14 assists in 22 postseason games.

“It was tough,” sighed Pouliot. “We had another seven game series too but that last one was especially tough. Two years in a row when we were just one game away from winning it and making it to the Memorial Cup, it was a heart breaker.”

The scouts have him down as a very strong skater and a good puck-moving blue liner. He is really good at handling the puck and he’s an excellent passer. He’s known to often jump up and lead the rush as well as quarterback the power play.

“I’m more of an offensive kind of guy,” said Pouliot. “My hockey sense is good, I have good vision on the ice and am a strong skater. I use those things to my advantage.

“I’d like to improve my defensive game, making sure I’m being responsible on both ends of the ice and also be a little more intense and aggressive. “

The Weyburn, Saskatchewan product says he’d compare himself to players with patience and poise like Drew Doughty or Nicklas Lidstrom, as he tries to incorporate those qualities into his own game. This year’s draft class is filled with great defencemen that might eventually be compared to those two NHL’ers down the road. How does Pouliot feel he stands out from the rest?

“Everybody brings a little something different to the table but I think I have a great offensive upside,” he said. “And this year I improved my defensive game. I can play in both ends of the rink but I have that strong offensive side and that’s going to be the main thing to separate myself from the other guys.”

Pouliot interviewed with 23 teams at the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto earlier in June and like every other prospect in the draft class, he’s counting down the days until he hears his name called up to the stage.

“You look at [the rankings] a little bit but in the end they don’t really matter at all. It’s what the team is looking for and every team has a different idea and anything can happen.

“It’s a dream come true though…it’s one step closer to fulfilling my dream of making the NHL. I’ll have to start all over but it’s really exciting and I’m looking forward to it.”

Who does Pouliot turn to for draft advice as the date inches closer?

“I’ve talked to a lot of guys on my team who have gone through it over the last two years. They’ve just said the biggest thing is to have fun and enjoy it. It’s a once in a lifetime thing so you’ve got to enjoy it.”

SCHEDULE

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 50 32 12 6 147 134 70
2 NSH 48 31 11 6 145 115 68
3 STL 48 31 13 4 156 117 66
4 CHI 49 31 16 2 155 113 64
5 WPG 50 26 16 8 140 127 60
6 SJS 49 26 17 6 137 135 58
7 VAN 47 27 17 3 129 120 57
8 CGY 49 26 20 3 140 127 55
9 LAK 48 21 15 12 133 129 54
10 COL 50 21 18 11 131 141 53
11 DAL 48 22 19 7 152 157 51
12 MIN 48 22 20 6 131 138 50
13 ARI 48 17 25 6 111 161 40
14 EDM 49 13 27 9 113 162 35

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Ladd 50 17 23 9 40
B. Little 50 18 20 9 38
B. Wheeler 50 13 23 10 36
D. Byfuglien 50 12 21 8 33
M. Perreault 47 17 14 0 31
M. Frolik 50 10 17 6 27
M. Scheifele 50 7 20 3 27
E. Kane 35 10 12 3 22
A. Lowry 49 6 9 3 15
J. Trouba 34 5 9 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 14 5 2 .932 2.00
O. Pavelec 12 11 6 .911 2.52
 
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