A surprise debut for Samuel Poulin with the Pittsburgh Penguins

As he has done at all levels of his career, Samuel Poulin attracted attention from his first outings in the National Hockey League (NHL). The young Quebecer got a point in his debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

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The right winger knew hours before the match against the Calgary Flames that he was part of head coach Mike Sullivan’s roster. He was quickly inserted into the third line and on one of the power play waves.

It was on the power play that the Penguins’ first-round pick, the 21st overall in the 2019 draft, opened his counter. Along with Evgeni Malkin and Jeff Carter, he participated in the only net of the « Pens », which lost 4 to 1.

“I got on the ice and ‘Geno’ passed me the puck. I spotted “Carts” in the middle, so I handed him the puck. In no time she entered [dans le filet]. It happened very quickly”, he explained in a press briefing after the meeting.

Author of a goal in four games in the American League this season, his second as a professional, Poulin seemed to be in his place. He finished with two shots, a minor penalty and a -2 differential.

« I think Sam played well, » Sullivan said. He gave us a lot of energy and of course you never forget your first game in the NHL. It is important. We are happy with his progress and to see his game evolve, and he really deserved the chance to play tonight. I think he gave a solid performance.”

an important moment

The 21-year-old athlete’s family is pretty knowledgeable about hockey. Poulin’s father, Patrick, played over 600 NHL games. Like his son, he was a first-round pick. He made his debut three decades earlier with the Hartford Whalers in 1991-92.

Never Patrick or Samuel’s mother, Annick, would have missed this important moment for their son, even if the trip from Quebec to Alberta had to be done very quickly. Warned an hour before Samuel, they packed their bags quickly and took their two other children, Nicholas and Kathryn, with them.

They finally missed the first hour of the game and couldn’t see Poulin doing his solo ice lap, he who admitted to having had his legs shaking at the time.

“He worked so hard to get here. This year, there was something different about him in training camp. We knew it could happen this year,” Annick told the Penguins website.

« I was just telling my daughter that when he was 5 or 6, he said, ‘Mom, one day I’m going to play in the NHL, and I’m going to play with Crosby and Ovechkin.’ They were the two best players. Now he’s on the ice with them. It’s just crazy, it’s unreal,” added the mother who couldn’t be prouder.


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