It would be understandable if the Pittsburgh Penguins were skeptical about the prospects of Sam Poulin living up to the enormous promise scouts saw when he was their first-round draft choice in 2019.
And perhaps they are, although no one from the front office has come close to suggesting so, publicly or otherwise.
The simple reality is that Poulin has yet to skate a shift in the NHL, even though his position, left wing, is hardly one of exceptional depth or talent for the Penguins.
It has not gone unnoticed that each of the 20 players selected before him — and five of the 10 chosen after Poulin — has made at least a cursory appearance in the NHL
What’s more, there is, at least for now, little reason to think that will change at the start of the 2022-23 season. After all, the Pittsburgh Penguins will open training camp next week with no fewer than 14 forwards on one-way contracts.