The Pittsburgh Penguins have taken Derrick Pouliot, with the eighth selection in the 2012 draft, after receiving the pick in a big trade that saw Jordan Staal head to Carolina.
Pouliot is one of the best skaters in the draft. He doesn't have elite speed, but his balance and ability to change direction are unmatched by most. His tremendous poise helps him excel at skating the puck out of trouble. Pouliot also has offensive upside evidenced by his 59 points in 72 games with Portland this season. His skating ability allows him to lead the rush and he almost always makes the right first-pass. He even contributed on special teams, leading the power play unit for his club. However, Pouliot must continue to work on his defensive game, while adding more strength and muscle to his frame. Nevertheless, he's produced at all levels he has competed in and will be a nice addition to the Penguins' back end.