Penguins top prospect Pouliot eyes quick recovery from surgery
Almost halfway through the low-end projection of recovery time from shoulder surgery, Penguins top prospect Derrick Pouliot remained hopeful he could return to the ice during training camp.
But Pouliot, the defenseman selected No. 8 in the 2012 draft, said it was too early to tell whether that goal was realistic.
“Everything is coming along good,” said Pouliot, whose May surgery repaired a labrum torn during the Western Hockey League final. “(The shoulder) is progressing as it should, and hopefully, it'll be a speedy recovery.
“It's tough to (give a timetable), especially since it's only been (eight weeks). I'm just starting to really get the rehab going, so it's tough to say but hopefully training camp.”
Limited to an exercise bike other than his rehab, Pouliot could only observe the Penguins' development camp sessions Tuesday at Consol Energy Center.
When Pouliot had surgery May 21, the team announced he would require four to six months of recovery time. Training camp begins in mid-September.
Whenever Pouliot is given the green light, he'll have the comfort of familiarity. Mike Johnston, Pouliot's coach with his junior team in Portland the past four-plus seasons, is now the Penguins' coach.
Also, Pouliot will be joined by Olli Maatta, another top Penguins defenseman, in his recovery. Maatta, taken by the Penguins 14 picks after they selected Pouliot, had labrum surgery a day after Pouliot.
“At least when I get back here in Pittsburgh, I won't have to rehab by myself,” Pouliot said.
Pouliot hopes to follow Maatta in earning a job with the Penguins. Maatta landed regular work in the NHL as a 19-year-old last season. It didn't go unnoticed to Pouliot, 20, that the Penguins lost veterans Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen via free agency this month.
“It's an opportunity for some younger guys to maybe step up and earn their spots,” said Pouliot, who was the Canadian Hockey League Defenseman of the Year in 2013-14. “But you're going to have to earn it — and first and foremost get healthy again.”
Pouliot said he recognized some of the drills that prospects were going through Tuesday, and he predicted “a smooth transition” for the organization from Dan Bylsma to Johnston.
“He's a very smart man, and he really knows the game,” Pouliot said of Johnston. “He's been around it for a while, and he makes those (in-game) transitions very well. He can see what the other team's doing, and he'll come up with a plan to counter it.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Farnham relishes making opening-night roster
- Kessel addition, better health could have Pens scoring like it’s 1990s
- Penguins at a glance entering 2015-16 season
- Penguins release Gonchar, send Pouliot down
- Rookie Sprong OK after injury scare in Penguins’ preseason finale
- Intrigue abounds for Penguins before season opener
- Plotnikov shines in Penguins’ preseason victory over Lightning
- Hansons, Penguins help Johnstown celebrate ‘Hockeyville’ designation
- Penguins forwards making their cases for last open spot on roster
- Penguins players would like to see NHL team return to Quebec City