TIOPS Daily Five Ice Report
*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. Every training camp in every sport there’s that player who gets pegged as being in the best shape of their life and so on. They became a media darling for a few weeks and get people into believing this year is going to be different.
Derrick Pouliot got that label immediately when reporting to camp last week as his transformation of actually looking like a professional hockey player was a big topic for many.
Pouliot being in great shape is good fodder but that’s all it is.
Pouliot is not a bad hockey player, he’s just not good enough in the areas he should be (that made him such a high draft pick).
And that reality hit again with his performance in Tuesday’s preseason opener.
This is supposed to be an elite puck moving defenseman who the Penguins believed would be their No. 1 power play quarterback from a very young age.
Yet his head coach has to be critical of him in not being assertive enough with his decision making. That should be a primary strength of Pouliot’s at this stage of his career and it hasn’t been which has frustrated those coaching him including Mike Sullivan. The Penguins not only took Pouliot 8th overall, they had him 4th on their big board ahead of the 2012 draft.
This is a player they expected to be a standout defenseman with the puck and the play away from the puck would be the area that needed a lot of coaching.
“The development [offensively] just isn’t where it should be and that’s alarming,” a long-time NHL evaluator said of Pouliot.
2. Derrick Pouliot may very well establish himself as a regular in Pittsburgh and push someone out of the top-6, though, the odds are stronger of him being the No. 7 this season/back in Wilkes Barre or getting moved in a young player for young player swap which is where the chatter has been all summer.
Defensemen that can drive possession are always coveted and there’s not a GM more obsessed with these type of players than new Coyotes GM John Chayka.
Phoenix scouted the Penguins heavily last season and are said to have had their eye Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"