The Flames have plenty of positional and skill needs that have been discussed in regards to the draft: big centers, skill wingers, and so on. So how does a silky, offensive defenseman sound?
With 59 points in 72 games (11-48-59), Pouliot was potent from the blueline for SVEN’s Portland Winterhawks. He has a reputation for having an excellent stride, good puck moving and possession skills, and being offensively adept.
To quote one anonymous NHL executive from Buzzing the Net’s Pouliot profile:
“He really doesn’t get as much publicity as he should, playing out in Portland."
"Such a good skater. He has mobility and the ability to jump into the attack and he can play both sides of the puck. He might be the best of the group.’”
That’s high praise, and while Brodie is showing a lot of potential, it couldn’t hurt to have another offensive defenseman around.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. There’s a number of growing concerns with the Winterhawk.
…others say [Pouliot is] very soft and is so bad defensively he should be converted to forward. I stand around the middle as I think he can be decent physically, although his size/strength still make it a weakness. I think he can be fine in his own end as well, but he hurts himself with getting too cute in his own end or having a brain cramp as opposed to not having a feel for the position.
While there’s an outside chance Pouliot could turn into Mike Green someday, there’s a far greater chance he ends up as Filip Kuba or even Anton Babchuk. And while there’s nothing wrong with drafting a Kuba at the end of the first round, you should aim a bit higher in the first half.
Furthermore, with so many decent defenseman ahead of him in the rankings (Maatta, Ceci, Rielly, Dumba, Trouba, Murray, Lindholm, and Reinhart), the Flames are almost assured that one will be available; and if not, some very very good forwards will be available.
Probability he will be around at 14: Near certain
Probability the Flames will pick him: Low