Pouliot was Badly mis-judged by Evaluators
Scouts often miss and the Penguins obsession back in the Ray Shero era of drafting puck moving defenseman saw Pittsburgh not only take Derrick Pouliot 8th overall in the 2012 draft, but the team mis-calculated so bad on Pouliot, the organization had him rated No. 4 on their board.
“That was a funky draft coming in,” a 20+ year scout tells TIOPS. “Prospects were [rated] all over the map……Derrick sure looked like a safe pick [at the time] because you can coach a player up to become a better defensive player, but you can’t teach high-level puck skills. He had it”
The stunner to many in the Penguins organization regarding Pouliot is that the offensive prowess he possessed in juniors and elite puck moving ability that wowed the Penguins amateur scouts never materialized once he turned pro.
At worst the Penguins four to five years ago believed Pouliot would be an elite level power play specialist as a third pairing defenseman.
Pouliot’s failure to develop into an NHL defenseman is only on him. The Penguins only mistake was waiting too long to move him when it’s been clear for well over a year it wasn’t going to work out here and he’s not an NHL caliber d-man. His value just kept sinking and sinking over the last year and a half.
A new opportunity could benefit Pouliot but he has more tough sledding as his lack of role in Pittsburgh was more about talent than his attitude.
What the rest of the league thinks about Pouliot is quite clear as the only official trade offer the Penguins had on the table was the one from Vancouver.
Latest on Riley Sheahan
So what happened to that reported Riley Sheahan – Derrick Pouliot trade from a few weeks ago?
It never really existed, a team Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
Latest Scuttlebutt/Scout Buzz
— Eastern Conference Scout on the Penguins bottom-6: “They’re really top heavy when you watch them. Obviously there’s Crosby and Malkin who can hide so much. There’s ‘great’ depth on the wing and I love the D [group] and Murray’s a rock for them”
“The lack of skill from the third and fourth line centers is striking,” the scout added. “I don’t see either guy [Greg McKegg – Carter Rowney] being the answer for them.”
— Penguins coaches really like McKegg but the more Penguins management has watched McKegg this preseason, they believe his best role on the team Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
— One reason for the Penguins experimenting with an Ian Cole – Matt Hunwick pairing early in the season will be to see if the pairing can take some heavy defensive minutes against the oppositions second best line to open up Justin Schultz offensively even more with weaker defensive assignments.
NHL News: Sabres get Eichel Deal DoneWant the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
— First Year GM Jason Botterill stepped up in avoiding a distraction in locking up Jack Eichel to an 8 year, $80 million contract.
Overpayment for Eichel?
Absolutely, he’s not on the level of Draisaitl nor Johansen who got lesser deals this summer, but Buffalo had to do this deal.
EDM Connor McDavid | 8 Years – $100 million
BUF Jack Eichel | 8 Years – $80 million
Leon Draisaitl | 8 Years – $68 million
Ryan Johansen | 8 Years – $64 million