Of all the players from the NHL draft in 2019 in Vancouver, only three have made the leap into the big league full-time this season. Jack Hughes, Kaapo Kakko and Kirby Dach, the first three in class, have known of the beginnings mixed with the Devils, the Rangers and Blackhawks, respectively.
Samuel Poulin and Jakob Pelletier, the only two players in the QMJHL picked in the first round last year, would like to follow in the footsteps of the other three attackers reaching to turn the NHL in 2020-2021.
Before aspire to obtain a position with the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Calgary Flames, Poulin and Pelletier will need to see a multitude of obstacles fall in front of them. To begin with the resumption of activities in the NHL. A detail important enough.
“For the moment, I don’t think about it too much, said Pelletier, the choice of the first round (26th) of the Flames last summer. With everything that is happening, there are other concerns. In my inner heart, I would like to make the jump into the NHL as quickly as possible. It is my dream to play there, as Sam.
“We are talking about two or three times a week, Sam and I continued the winger of the Wildcats of Moncton. We ask, what will happen with the season. We do our homework continuing with our exercises. We will be ready when we have to present ourselves to a camp. We will be even more ready than ever. “
Poulin, the choice of the first round (21st) of the Penguins, would also like to mix the cards for the next camp in the land of Sidney Crosby.
“I think it would be possible for me to knock on the door of the NHL, said the burly winger of 6′ 2 ” and 216 lbs. At my first camp in Pittsburgh, I didn’t feel ready yet. The Penguins had made the right decision in sending me the in the QMJHL for another season, Sherbrooke. I’ve had a good season, I gained even more confidence. I love my progress and I feel that I am getting closer to the NHL.
“We are in a time of uncertainty, it is impossible to predict what will happen for the next season, he added. We don’t even know if there will be a season. And it is the same story in the QMJHL. We are all the face of the unknown. “
A few months ago, Poulin and Pelletier had hopes of winning the President’s cup and participate in the Memorial Cup. Poulin was the captain and one of the driving offensive of the Phoenix of Sherbrooke, which trônaient at the top of the QMJHL. Pelletier also wore the ” C ” on his sweater, and he led the attack of the Wildcats, second in the general classification.
In 57 games in Moncton, Pelletier has amassed a very good record with 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists) and a remarkable record of +57. The Flames have logically to the eye at the next camp, on the condition that there should be one.
“I do not place pressure to win a position quickly in the NHL, has replicated the winger, 5 feet 10 inches and 170 lbs. I often speak with the Flames. I know they have a project for me. They seek to develop myself so that I become the best player possible. This is not a race. If I arrive at the camp, and that I am dominant, they will give me a chance. But if I don’t make the jump this early in the season, I go back to Moncton to continue my learning. My plan A would be the NHL, but this is not the end of the world if it doesn’t work. ”
The physical maturity of Poulin
The image of Pelletier, Poulin flew over the QMJHL with 77 points (32 goals, 45 assists) and a sheet of +45 in only 46 games in Sherbrooke.
“Sam already has the physical maturity, has recognized Stéphane Julien, the head coach of the Phoenix. It has an advantage over many young people. Physically, it is probably even ahead of veterans. But after that, it will depend on several factors. The Penguins want to win every year, they do not rush development. For his talent, his reading of the game and his toughness, he could play in the NHL as soon as next season. He will have to earn his place. It will depend on the philosophy of the Penguins. ”
The class of Crosby
Samuel Poulin floated already on a cloud. Twenty-eight years after his father Patrick with the Hartford Whalers (9 in total), he had had the happiness to hear his name as early as the first round of the draft.
Poulin had received another gift a few hours after having donned the uniform of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time.
“I had given my cell to my mother for the last chance,” he reminisced in a telephone interview with the Journal. I didn’t want to be distracted. I wanted to live this moment with my family without looking at my phone. Leaving the arena, I returned to my cell and I began to read my many messages. There were many of them. I’ve looked at a number that I had not in my contacts, and I quickly noticed the signature in the bottom of the message. It was written “Sid’. I was happy to receive a message from Crosby. “
Poulin then met with the number 87 a few months later, during his first camp with the Penguins.
“Sid was really nice to me, ” said the winger of the Phoenix of Sherbrooke. From our first meeting, he took the time to chat. I had asked about my summer and my days of Sherbrooke in the QMJHL. It is not just passed to say hi, he talked to me for two or three minutes. He remains a guy down to earth. During the camp, he spoke to me often and gave me advice.
“There are guys in the locker room the Penguins have won the Stanley Cup three times. They know what it takes to be successful. I have the chance to learn from the best with players like Crosby, [Evgeni] Malkin and [Kristopher] Letang. These are not two of spades ! “
The model Gaudreau
Jakob Pelletier has also described his first camp in the NHL with the Flames, with a lot of enthusiasm in the voice.
“It was an amazing experience. I played two games with the pros, and I’ve done a few training sessions. This is not another universe, but there is a big market. I was looking at Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. It is incredible to see their level of talent, and it is even more enjoyable to see how they work hard. “
If Poulin and Pelletier did not earn a position in the NHL next season, at 19 years of age, they will seek to participate at the world junior Championships with team canada. In theory, this prestigious tournament will be held in Edmonton and Red Deer, from December 26 to January 5.