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The second overall pick in the 2017 QMJHL draft is the son of former NHLer Patrick Poulin. Samuel Poulin put up 16 goals and 45 points in 55 games as QMJHL rookie last year. This season he was given more responsibility as an alternate captain with the Sherbrooke Phoenix. He put up 29 goals and 47 assists for 76 points in 67 games. Poulin was even better in the QMJHL playoffs, putting up eight goals and six assists for 14 points in 10 games. Unfortunately, the Phoenix were eliminated in a five-game second-round loss to the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
Poulin has also spent time representing his country. Following the playoff loss, Poulin joined Team Canada at the IIHF Under-18 World Championship. He put up one goal and one assist in seven tournament games as Canada finished 4th. He was also part of Team Canada’s Hlinka-Gretzky winning team, putting up one assist in five games. Last season, Poulin put up three assists in six games for Team Canada White at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge.
Samuel Poulin Scouting Report
Right Wing — shoots Left
Born February 25th, 2001 — Blainville, Quebec
Height 6’2″ — Weight 208 lbs [188 cm/94 kg]
Overall, Poulin is a very good skater but has one weakness that he needs to address. If he can improve his footwork, Poulin could really make an impact at the next level. Poulin’s first few steps are choppy and need some work. He could also stand to improve his acceleration. Once he gets up to speed, Poulin has good top-end speed and uses it off the rush, to get in quickly on the forecheck, and to get back and support the defence. That said, the choppy footwork could hold him back, as a large part of the NHL game is stops and starts, races to key areas of the ice, and racing for loose pucks. His agility and edgework are above average and this helps him to be dangerous in one-on-one situations. Poulin is strong on his skates and has good balance. This allows him to win battles on the boards and to battle for position in front of the net. He can also fight through checks on his way to the front of the net.
Already coming in at 6-foot-1 and 207 pounds, Poulin plays with power. He is willing to drive the net with the puck, and forecheck hard without it. Poulin also shows skill, with soft hands which he marries with his skating, size, and power. He also has a powerful and accurate wrist shot. His shot features a quick and deceptive release, which allows him to fool goaltenders from outside the face-off circle. Poulin also has an outstanding one-timer. He has a real knack for getting open without the puck and making himself available to get off that shot. Poulin can also score with a strong snapshot as well as a very good backhand.
Playing on the wing, he also has the vision and passing skills to be a playmaker. Poulin has good hockey IQ, anticipating the movements of his teammates and getting them the puck in good spaces. He cycles well and is particularly effective on the give-and-go type plays. Strong on his skates, he protects the puck well. This gives his linemates the opportunity to get open, and once they do he can make tape-to-tape passes through tight areas. He also works well to win battles along the boards and for loose pucks.
Poulin has shown a good defensive game for his age. He uses his long stick to cut down passing lanes and create turnovers. Poulin is willing to help his defence with an effective backcheck. He provides back pressure and takes away time and space from attackers. Poulin is a smart player. He reads the play well and seems to be in the right place to cut down offensive opportunities. Poulin is not afraid to bring his physical and gritty game to his own end, helping the defence down low and in front of the net.
Projection and Comparison
Poulin’s size and skill make him an intriguing power forward option, something that is harder and harder to find in the NHL today. He needs to continue to work on his skating though. If he can solve this issue, he could be an effective top-six winger at the NHL level. He will need some time though. In terms of style, Poulin’s game is reminiscent of Marian Hossa, but this is not a comparison of skill or ability, just style.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Samuel Poulin that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
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