Forward Samuel Poulin Making Name Known Early En Route To World Juniors
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, November 21, 2020
In his first go-around at Selection Camp, Samuel Poulin has arrived in Red Deer while attempting to establish his spot in the World Juniors. He does so with the country’s best players under Andre Tourigny, the head coach for Team Canada.
The Quebec-born forward made his presence known early, with the early contender for best goal of Selection Camp. Now, chasing his dream to the National Team, Samuel Poulin has this goal within reach. Speaking to his early bout of confidence, the winger said Friday while speaking with the media, “Compared to maybe last year, I’m really more comfortable, I have more confidence, you know. Also, I talked about that earlier, but I had a chance to play some games in my junior team (Sherbrooke Phoenix) so that helped me a lot too, so I’m ready for this camp and I want to show everyone what I’m about.”
Currently 19-years-old, Poulin, who can play on both sides, knows a little something about being a leader. Following his debut in the QMJHL, which included an appearance at U-17 Development Camp, the lefty, in 2018-19, was named by the Phoenix as an alternate captain.
Leading his team in both goals and points respectively, Poulin was one of 23 players who would find himself invited to the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. While only taking part in seven games, it was the path that mattered to hit the ice for Team Canada.
Described by EPRinkside as a creative offensive player with high-end offensive upside, Poulin, in 2019-20, was named as the captain of the Sherbrooke Phoenix. That would see him tie for fourth in goals while ranked third in points, amassing 77. Doing so in 21 less games, it’s the numbers he put up that stood out to coach Tourigny.
With the first scrimmage scheduled for Saturday, he will look to turn heads and impress with Team Red. A week in at Westerner Park Centrium, he’s been skating on a line with Peyton Krebs and Quinton Byfield. Speaking to his comfort early on, he said of the adjustment he’s made as a player, “Not much different, just I may be doing maybe some little details a bit better, and you know, I always wanna improve my game each and everyday, so a year is really big in a player’s development, so just overall, I would say that my game is better.”
After an impressive two years with the Phoenix, Poulin was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was drafted 21st overall by the organization back in 2019. Finishing his third year in junior with career high totals, the six-foot-two winger joined the NHL club to take part in the preseason.
While he didn’t get much further than that, it was reported by Louis Jean back in June that Poulin was likely to join for the season’s remainder. However, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he was not chosen to enter the bubble in Toronto.
Learning that his name was in discussion, the native of Blainville said to TVA Sports, “Honestly, I would be lying if I said I did not expect the news about the Penguins. I knew I was a little bit in their plans and since the beginning of the pandemic, I train knowing that I may be called back to practice with them, so I always had that in mind . To really receive the news, it proved that I had not trained for nothing and that I had put the efforts for the right reasons, so I am very satisfied with that.”
Along with the NHL chatter, he was also invited to Hockey Canada’s Junior Virtual Camp. Another piece focused on development, this has only helped guide him towards stardom and beyond. Now at the national level, he knows what needs to get done and is not looking back.
Asked if he looked elsewhere for advice, the Canadian power forward said to the media, “Not really, just trying to focus on myself and make sure to be prepared as good as possible to get this candle, so I didn’t reach out to anyone in particular, talked to my parents, but otherwise, there’s no-one that I reached out to.”
While Poulin has some tremendous abilities, among them is shooting and that didn’t go without notice. As he takes to the ice everyday with Team Red, Poulin is joined by two backstops in Tristan Lennox and Taylor Gauthier. While they both have faced plenty of shots now, they have gotten a taste of what’s in store for the tournament.
Speaking to the biggest surprises, both Lennox and Gauthier agreed on Quinton Byfield. However, as he’s put on a show, Lennox made sure to note that Poulin is up there as well. “But also, I think Poulin has a really good shot and he’s got a quick release and he’s not afraid to play the rebound, so definitely him and Byfield have stuck out for me.”
Prior to being named to Selection Camp, Poulin had played five games with the Phoenix, having scored three goals along with three assists. Amassing six points and four penalty minutes, he was just getting started before leaving for Red Deer. Named as team captain for a second season, Poulin will look to wreck havoc and plead his case for a roster spot.
As he looks to make that clear to coach Tourigny, the run begins on Saturday at 6:00pmMT. The scrimmage between Team Red and Team White be will carried LIVE on HockeyCanada.ca. Following that, there will be two more on both November 22nd and November 24th.
For those who are based on the east coast, that’s 8:00pmET for Saturday and Sunday. The last one, taking place on Tuesday, starts at 10:00amMT, which is 12:00pmET. Andre Tourigny and a couple of players will be made available to speak post-game on Saturday.
Featured Image: Rob Wallator/Hockey Canada Images