Despite Age, Pens First-Rounder Poulin Wants to Make Team

Hear from the new Penguins’ forward on the first day of development camp

Josh Rowntree
June 26, 2019 - 3:27 pm
Penguins forward Samuel Poulin at development camp in 2019

Josh Rowntree - 93.7 The Fan

CRANBERRY (93.7 The Fan) - Samuel Poulin has a clear, definitive goal: make the Penguins.

No, not Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in last week’s NHL Draft, Poulin is in his first team activity with his new team, as he is participating in the Penguins’ development camp this week.

“It was pretty fun to just hit the ice for the first time,” he said. “It was pretty awesome. I felt pretty good out there. I’m sure I’ll feel the same tomorrow. 

“I’m going to try to make the team right away. It’s my dream to play in the NHL, so I’ll try to make plays right away.”

Poulin, however, is only 18 years old. But his style — a 6-foot-1, 212 pound power forward — fits a void the Penguins clearly feel is an area of importance. 

The Penguins used four of their five selections on forwards. Of the four, three of those players are 6-foot or taller, and all weigh over 200 pounds. 

So what does being a power forward mean in today’s NHL?

“I think it’s a mix of all of them,” said Poulin, who racked up 29 goals and 76 points with the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL last year. “Speed, skill, being physical. It just went like this because they needed guys like that on their team, so that’s why they did that.”

Poulin has molded his game over a couple of strong power forwards.

“I’d say (Colorado forward) Gabriel Landeskog and P.L. Dubois in Columbus,” he said. “They’re two big forwards and they’re capable of playing the skill game. I look up to those guys.”

Through just a day of development camp, Poulin seems to be fitting right in.

“It’s not really different from junior hockey,” he said. “Guys are maybe older or a little bit stronger, but the game stays the same. I’ve just got to go out there and work out.”

The organization, he says, has taken somewhat of an easy-going approach to his early days with the team.

“Just to go out there and do my best and just have some fun,” Poulin said. “They’re studying me. It’s like any evaluation. They want me to do any best but, at the same time, they just want me to enjoy the moment and appreciate all the things we’re doing here.”

Poulin is able to enjoy things a little more because of his familiarity with the Penguins’ second pick in the Draft, center Nathan Légaré. Poulin and Légaré are childhood friends.

Légaré is a similar build to Poulin, at over 6-foot and 200 pounds.

“It meant a lot for me,” Poulin said. “We’re really close buddies, we work out together in the summer and we’ve played together since we were seven years old. It was a dream come true.

“We’re similar players. I think he’s more of a goal scorer than I am and I’m maybe more of a playmaker than he is. We’re two good players and it’s fun to both be at the same camp.

“I think we don’t realize it yet. It’s not something we really thought about when we had the chance to get drafted. We just wanted to get drafted by any teams. But now we’re on the same team, so it’s pretty awesome to be out there together.”

Now Poulin will work with Légaré, his other teammates and coaches, to crack the lineup, at a young age, in an organization full of veterans. 

“They’re a really good organization, for sure,” he said. “They’ve won a lot of Stanley Cups in the past few years. So it says a lot about their team and their philosophy, as well. I’m just looking forward to meeting all those guys.

“I’ll do everything I can to make the team right away.”

Hear all of what Penguins first-round pick Samuel Poulin had to say below.