The Pittsburgh Penguins formally closed the Derrick Pouliot saga, Tuesday. General Manager Jim Rutherford dealt the 2012 first-round pick to the Vancouver Canucks for big, physical defenseman Andrey Pedan and a 2018 fourth-round choice.
The Penguins signed Pouliot to a one-way, one-year, $800,000 contract this offseason. However, the 23-year-old defenseman looked lost for much of training camp. Pouliot’s name had been a fixture in trade talks for several weeks and was frequently linked to the Penguins search for a third line center and the Red Wings Riley Sheahan.
The deal seemingly signals the end of the Sheahan deal and means the Penguins have moved on. The Red Wings wanted to sign RFA Andreas Anthanasiou before dealing Sheahan. Red Wings GM Ken Holland‘s comments yesterday signaled a deal with Athanasiou was unlikely.
One day later, the Penguins dealt the were saving for Detroit.
Former Penguins GM Ray Shero selected Pouliot with the 8th overall pick in 2012. It was part of a larger strategy to stockpile defensemen. Shero passed on forward Filip Forsberg to select Pouliot and later selected Olli Maatta with the 22nd overall pick.
Pouliot joined his juniors coach, Mike Johnston, with the Penguins in 2014. Things had a good start. Pouliot scored 24 points in 31 AHL games and played in 34 NHL games (2g, 5a). However, Pouliot’s slide began shortly after. Attitude and performance issues placed him out of favor in the Penguins organization.
Pouliot will get a fresh start with the Vancouver Canucks, who are not expected to contend for a playoff spot this season.
Andrey Pedan: THUMP
Pedan, 24, is a bruising defenseman who prefers his end of the rink. He was a 2011 third-round choice by the Islanders and made his NHL debut in 2015-16 with the Canucks.
He played exclusively in the AHL last season (Utica). Pedan had five goals and five assists with 100 penalty minutes.
Pedan played 13 NHL games in 2015-16 and recorded 18 penalty minutes. He has a reputation for physical play but also taking bad penalties. He will join a fierce blue line in Wilkes Barre/Scranton which already includes thumper Jarred Tinordi and Zach Trotman.
…the hunt for a third line center continues….