Forward Sam Poulin happy to fill any role for the Penguins

There was once a sooner than and after to Sam Poulin’s first skilled season in 2021-22.

Jan. 8.

As a rookie with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Poulin worked thru a troublesome first portion of the season. In his first 22 video games, Poulin, a first-round pick out (No. 21 general) in 2019, may just most effective muster seven issues (4 targets, 3 assists).

That led to a wholesome scratch Jan. 8.

“The game that I got scratched I think was a wake-up call for me,” Poulin stated not too long ago all through the staff’s rookie camp in Cranberry. “That was the first time that had ever happened to me. My goal was to stay in the lineup all year long after that. I wouldn’t say I was playing more consciously, but I was more aware of my decisions, the plays that I was making. It’s just a matter of getting that confidence back. From that point on after that, I just played with much more poise, more confidence.”

Poulin’s manufacturing validated that review as he loved a burst when he posted 30 issues (12 targets, 18 assists) in his ultimate 50 video games of the season.

During the postseason, Poulin performed in six video games and had 4 issues (3 targets, one lend a hand).

“When you look at his progression throughout the year, it was a tough start,” Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins trainer J.D. Forrest stated. “That’s an enormous leap, and I feel a large number of guys aren’t anticipating that leap. They suppose it may well be slightly bit more uncomplicated. One factor about Sam is he’s a continuing employee. He wasn’t glad with that first portion of the season. He took that message to center and altered a couple of issues and fixed with it. He modified his recreation a little, began placing himself in scenarios to be actually a hit and he flourished.

“He’s been nice at heart for us. Those difficult breaks that you just don’t have to undergo at an previous age, when it hits you later, it’s laborious and possibly you don’t know the way to take care of it. But he did an amazing activity.

“Looking at his progression, jeez. If he can continue that, he’s going to be a scary-good player.”

Where that combat may spread stays to be observed.

Drafted with no consideration winger, Poulin started to experiment at heart all through his ultimate season at the junior degree (2020-21) and was once deployed in the center relatively a little in his first skilled season.

“Playing center, it’s a little bit more responsibility,” Poulin stated. “Playing wing, I wouldn’t say easier but less stress and less responsibility. It’s just a matter of making the little plays right. I don’t think it would be an issue to go back to wing.”

Said Forrest: “He had extra luck with us at the heart place. Definitely, he’s were given the talent to do each. For us, that’s the place we wanted him to play. That’s the place he flourished. That’s the place he touched the puck the maximum. He will get dialed in proper off of faceoffs. He began to get actually just right proper off attracts. At the finish of the 12 months, we have been placing him in large scenarios to win them for us. Any piece of the recreation that you just give him, he’s going to take a look at to dig down deep and take a look at to turn out to be as just right as he perhaps can.

“Whatever you want to say about Sam, he will not get outworked, whether that means a battle in the corner or a faceoff. If you give him little pieces of the game, he’s going to find a way to be really good and get better every day. That center position for us, that’s where we saw him at his best.”

Poulin doesn’t appear overly fastidious over the place he’s deployed. The 21-year-old simply needs it to be at the NHL degree.

“I’m a pretty versatile player, so no matter where they want me to play, I think I could fit in,” stated Poulin, a left-handed shot. “If they would like me to play heart, I do know I will do it. If they would like me to play wing, I do know I will do it as smartly. After that, if they would like me to play in the best six (forwards), I do know I will do it. Bottom six, I believe beautiful assured enjoying extra of a bodily recreation. If there’s a possibility, I’ll do the whole thing I will get my spot for the staff.

“You’ve just got to be ready for any opportunity. If it’s not center, well I’ll be able to play wing. If it’s the only spot available, I’ll be more than happy to fit into that role.”

Note: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins ahead Brooklyn Kalmikov, who’s signed to an American Hockey League contract, was once added to the NHL coaching camp roster.

Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review personnel author. You can touch Seth by means of e mail at or by way of Twitter .

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