Forward Benoit Pouliot has signed a one-year, $1.15 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres. Pouliot was bought out by the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Benoit Pouliot has agreed to terms in BUF, one year, $1.15M.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2017
Benoit Pouliot Signs with the Buffalo Sabres
Pouliot was drafted fourth overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He spent parts of four disappointing seasons with the Wild before being traded to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Guillaume Latendresse.
As a Canadien, Pouliot had 54 points in 118 games. He left Montreal in free agency following the 2010-11 season, joining the Boston Bruins on a one-year contract. Pouliot scored 16 goals and 32 points in 74 games in the 2011-12 year but was not brought back by the Bruins.
Instead, Pouliot signed another one-year contract, this time with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In the lockout-shortened season, he scored 20 points in 34 games. Again, he was not brought back, signing his third consecutive one-year contract, this time with the New York Rangers.
Pouliot was again a consistent contributor, scoring 15 goals and 36 points in the Big Apple. In the Rangers deep playoff run, he registered 10 points in 25 playoff games. Looking for term after three straight one-year deals, Pouliot signed a five-year, $20 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers.
His first two years were just as he came advertised. In 2014-15, Pouliot played in 58 games, scoring 34 points. The following year, his production increased to 36 points, even though he played three fewer games.
This past year was a very disappointing campaign for the native of Alfred, Ontario. Although he played 12 more games than the year previous, his production dropped dramatically. He only scored 14 points in 67 games, not the kind of numbers Edmonton was looking for out of a $4 million player. The postseason was even worse. Edmonton went to the second round, with Pouliot playing in all 13 games. He did not record a single point.
His poor season resulted, unsurprisingly, in a buyout. Although the Oilers let him go, Pouliot is still a good depth player. If the 30-year-old can return to be a consistent 30 point scorer like he was just one year ago, he will be a great depth signing for the Sabres.