A couple caveats here. One, SB has become really jumpy about using proper pictures, so I can't provide you a visual aid for this kid. Second, all three of us will readily admit that we don't watch junior hockey, because we're not frozen in some igloo in Alberta without a girl within 15 miles. So we're flying a bit blind in this, but we'll do our best. Anyway, let's kick off our look at some kids the Hawks might think about taking in the 1st round. This one's a bit of a stretch, as I've seen Pouliot slip to the Hawks in a couple mock drafts, but go a few picks before them in a lot more. However, Brandon Saad was supposed to be gone before the Hawks first pick last year, and there he was in the 2nd round. So y'never know, right?
Derrick Pouliot - 6' 0" 183lb. 18
Portland Winterhawks - 72 games, 11 goals, 48 assists, 59 points, +13 in the regular season
22 games, 3 goals, 14 assists, 17 points in the playoffs
There are a couple things that jump out about Pouliot. First, 35 of his points this year were on the power play, and even a child who can produce on the power play is going to make Hawks fans have their eyes spin and little cartoon hearts pop out of their chest. Such is our starvation. Second, the previous year he had 40 points in his first season in the WHL, which isn't as open as the other junior leagues. So there's some natural gifts here that allowed him to adapt pretty quickly. And things you can't teach are what make GMs dra-rool, dra-rool.
According to reports, Pouliot is a nifty skater who's already a plus one-on-one player. He's got a feel for the offensive game, but his defensive game is apparently going to need a construction crew. So he, Leddy, and Lalonde could share a few stories at training camp or something. He's also not that big, and strength is an issue. There's a hard 183 and a soft 183, and apparently Pouliot is the latter. He's going to be a couple years away for any team that takes him, which is natural for d-men, especially the rush-y kind.
Look, we know the Hawks love defensemen who can move the puck, and it's not a bad plan to stockpile them in every draft. Like taking a QB every year in the NFL, you just never know what you might need and what they might get you. And like a QB for any team, the way the Hawks play they need at least two plus puck rushers, so having a few in reserve is going to be the method. Also, young puck-movers can fetch you a pretty nice chip in return from other teams if you have other needs. Pouliot might not get to the Hawks, but if he does, he's a likely selection.