Penguins prospect Samuel Poulin learning about life in NHL
The NHL isn’t foreign to Samuel Poulin. After all, the Penguins forward prospect is the son of a former NHLer, Patrick Poulin.
But playing in the league is a different endeavor.
He was introduced to that aspect of the game Monday during the Penguins’ preseason opener, a 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at the Pegula Ice Arena in University Park.
Poulin, the Penguins’ first-round pick in this year’s draft, was one of the more notable members of a lineup festooned with names one will likely see in the the lineups of AHL, ECHL or junior teams this season. In contrast, the Sabres dressed a NHL-caliber lineup with the likes of star forwards Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner and defenseman Rasmus Dahlin.
“(Buffalo) had a big lineup so it was a good test for us, especially for me,” Poulin said. “I got a good overview of what the NHL looks like.”
It would be a stretch to predict Poulin will see much of the NHL this season other than as a spectator. At 18, he’ll likely be returned to his junior team, the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Wednesday’s practice in Cranberry certainly suggested that will be the case, as Poulin skated with several players who are also eligible for junior hockey or signed to AHL contracts.
Regardless, the experience of training camp and Monday’s contest has offered a pretty vivid lesson.
“I would say the preparation,” Poulin said. “Before every practice, before every game, after practice, after games … they want to be ready as much if it its game or if it’s a practice. That’s what stood out to me.”
Assuming he is indeed returned to Sherbrooke, Poulin’s goals are simple.
“I really want to win this year,” he said. “If I go back to junior, I want to win the President’s Cup (the QMJHL’s championship) and the Memorial Cup (the Canadian Hockey League’s championship) this year.”
• Poulin practiced in a group that included defenseman Matt Abt, Michael Kim, Calen Addison and Jon Lizotte, forwards Justin Almeida, Chase Berger, Jan Drozg, Jake Lucchini and Nathan Legare and goaltender Alex D’Orio.
• The second group was composed primarily of players expected to open the season on the NHL roster. They included forwards Zach Aston-Reese, Nick Bjugstad, Teddy Blueger, Sidney Crosby, Alex Galchenyuk, Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist, Dominik Kahun, Evgeni Malkin, Jared McCann, Bryan Rust, Dominik Simon and Brandon Tanev, defensemen Brian Dumoulin, Erik Gudbranson, Kris Letang, Jack Johnson, Marcus Pettersson, Juuso Riikola, Chad Ruhwedel and Justin Schultz, and goaltenders Casey DeSmith, Tristan Jarry and Matt Murray.
• A third group primarily had players who will likely open the season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. They included forwards Andrew Agozzino, Anthony Angello, Jordy Bellerive, Kasper Bjorkqvist, Joseph Blandisi, Joseph Cramarossa, Thomas Di Pauli, Ryan Haggerty, Adam Johnson, Sam Lafferty, Sam Miletic, Oula Palve and Ben Sexton, defensemen Niclas Almari, Kevin Czuczman, Pierre-Olivier Joseph, John Marino, Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky, and goaltenders Emil Larmi and Dustin Tokarski.
Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .