It’s no secret that Benoit Pouliot has not lived up to the hype that comes with being a top-five draft pick. Pouliot who was selected fourth overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft has been the true definition of a draft bust (just ask Jack Edwards).
After four seasons with the Wild where Pouliot scored just nine times in 65 games, he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in the middle of the 2009-10 season. Pouliot was solid for the Habs in his first season north of the border where he registered 24 points (15 goals) in 39 games.
His second season in Montreal wasn’t anything to marvel over. Pouliot had just 30 points and 79 games and was in head coach Jacques Martin’s “dog house” throughout the year. Pouliot played in just three of the seven playoff games Montreal had during their seven-game series loss to the Bruins this past postseason, making it obvious Pouliot’s time in Montreal was over with.
Pouliot signed a one-year deal with the Bruins during the offseason looking for a fresh start and looking to rejuvenate his career. With the retirement of future Hall-Of-Famer Mark Recchi a spot next to Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron has opened on the Bruins second line, a spot that Pouliot could slide into and flourish in.
Pouliot has spent some time paired with Bergeron in the early stages of Bruins training camp, and that’s something the Alfred Ontario, Canada native has no problem with.
“Yeah that was fun, that was fun, you know he’s been there for so long, and he’s been a great player in the league and everywhere he’s played, and I think joining him on this line was a blast, and if it keeps so that way then hey it’s awesome” said Pouliot “You know, we just got to keep it going. Bergy is so easy to play with because of the way he plays, so it’s going to be interesting.”
Bruins head coach Claude Julien knows that pairing Pouliot with Bergeron may be exactly what Pouliot needs to get him going.
“Maybe a little bit. This is a guy that I mentioned the other day that we see potential that hasn’t risen to the top yet. I think it’s our opportunity or our chance here to make that happen” said Julien. “And we just kind of feel that with the environment of our hockey club and the chemistry and the accountability that’s in that dressing room, we’ll be able to do that with him. And he’s excited to be here. We know that if he shows the potential that everybody knows he has he’s going to be a good hockey player.”
Both Bergeron and Pouliot are making the trip to Ottawa tonight for the Bruins first preseason game of the year. Chances are we will get to see our first glimpse of Bergeron and Pouliot in game action. (Tape delay on the NHL Network at midnight)