Born September 29, 1986 (age 25) in Alfred, Ontario, Canada
Left wing for the Boston Bruins
It was big news when Pouliot made the offseason jump from the Canadiens to the Bruins. He’s come a long way from his days of playing hockey in his hometown, coached by his dad, who passed away from leukemia the day after Benoit scored his first OHL goal. (Oh dear…On a slightly cheerier note, both Benoit’s brothers Hugo and David play hockey too.) In his rookie year with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves, he won the award for top rookie. After that rookie campaign, he was taken by Minnesota in the 2005 draft (4th overall) but he elected to stay with Sudbury for the rest of next year and join Minny’s AHL club the Houston Aeros for their playoff run after getting in on a tryout contract. Also he was on the gold-winning 2006 World Juniors team representing Canada! He signed with the Wild in May 2006 and made his big debut in November of that year.
His first goal did not come until November 2008, though, against Calgary–actually, he scored twice that night. He got on the Wild’s roster for 2008-09, but struggled and went down to Houston for some refining. This refining worked, but wasn’t enough to keep him from eventually being traded over to Montreal. After spending time with their AHL-level Hamilton Bulldogs his first year, he stayed a Hab for the rest of the next season. In the infamous February 2011 game between Boston and Montreal that featured a goalie fight, Pouliot got his licks in on David Krejci. During last year’s playoffs, he got in a fight with Andrew Ference. Now that all three are teammates, I presume hatchets have been appropriately buried.
Pouliot came over to the right side of the rivalry in July, coming over on a one-year contract. He seems to be fitting in pretty well and learning his place in the system, which sometimes requires him making mistakes and riding the pine for a while, but that’s how it is sometimes. Last season with the Habs he played 79 games, scored 13 goals and 17 assists and had 87 penalty minutes (some of those fight-related perhaps) in their regular season. He played only three of their playoff games and made no offensive contributions except 7 penalty minutes. Perhaps he will meet and exceed that as a Bruin!