The Pittsburgh Penguins prospect pool officially grew Sunday morning when the club signed Sam Poulin to a three-year, entry-level contract. Poulin was the Penguins first-round draft pick (21st overall) in June and has been a standout in the Penguins rookie camp, prospect tournament, and training camp.
On Friday, the Penguins also signed third-round pick Nathan Legare to his ELC.
Poulin, 18, has made an immediate impact. He played in the Penguins first two preseason games and acquitted himself well. He played over 14 minutes in the Penguins second preseason game on Thursday.
“Sam is a good young forward whose style is hard to play against,” said Penguins GM Jim Rutherford who announced the signing. “He has had a good training camp, and we’re happy to get him signed, and look forward to watching his development.”
Sam Poulin is 6-foot-1 and 212 pounds. He is part of the Penguins push to add players who can play a physical game but also score. Poulin had two goals in three games during the Prospect Challenge. Last season, he led the Sherbrook Phoenix of the QMJHL in goals (29), assists (47), and points (76). He played in 67 regular-season games.
Poulin and Legare also played for Team Canada in the 2019 U-18 World Championships. Poulin scored one goal and one assist in seven games.
PHN has been high on Poulin’s performances this summer and preseason. Editor-in-Chief Dan Kingerski said, “Poulin has shown a complete game. He is positionally aware and aggressive. His skating is much better than expected. His forecheck helped create turnovers against Buffalo and Columbus and looked like he belonged on a line with Nick Bjugstad and Patric Hornqvist.”
Poulin is the first top-round draft choice in the Jim Rutherford era. He will not play Sunday against Detroit in the Penguins fourth preseason game but the Penguins have two more preseason games remaining.
The Blainville, QC native could stay with the Penguins through a nine-game tryout into the regular season, but the Penguins salary cap situation and the full roster most likely prohibit that possibility. Poulin will likely return to Sherbrook. His contract will not begin until he begins his professional career.