You ran out of gas
Down the road a piece
Then the battery went dead
And now the cable wont reach
Its your last chance
To check under the hood
She aint soundin too good
Your last chance
To trust the man with the star
You’ve found the last chance texaco
-Rickie Lee Jones
I sincerely hope there is a sense of urgency for Marc Pouliot today. He’s way behind his graduating class in terms of accomplishments and is running the risk of creating a huge hole in the Kevin Prendergast draft book.
I’ve written more about him than any other Oiler prospect since starting this blog and he is the one draft pick between Hemsky and Gagner I honestly felt was a lock. He’s a smart player, an exceptional passer, thinks the game well and has shown some things at the NHL level (notably spring 2006).
I was defending Pouliot years before the blog, much as I had done with Shawn Horcoff on the hfboards fall 2000-2002 when he was less Horcoff-and-Die and more ? and the Mysterians. I have all the facts going back to the draft. Here, let me show you:
- Central Scouting Bureau: #13NA
- Redline Report: #40
- McKeens: #30
- The Hockey News: #14
- Born in Quebec City, Quebec 5/22/85.
- Pouliot is considered a very good two way player. (RLR)
- He pays attention to his own end of the ice which is surprising for a Q player. (RLR)
- He also played for a bad team in the Rimouski Oceanic. (RLR)
- Scouts reportedly would only go to see him play and the assessment was a question: how much better could he have been if he had some wingers to play with? (RLR)
- There also were some questions as to whether he was taking some nights off. (RLR)
- Still, there are those who think he is an exceptional talent and could be a solid second line center in the NHL. (RLR)
- Pouliot played for Team Canada at the recent WJC’s. He recorded only 2 goals, but had 9 points in 7 games.
- He scored 32 goals in his second year in the QMJHL last year.
I have quotes. Here’s a good one from MacT at this fall’s training camp:
- “It’s up to him, he’s got to come in and outplay the other guys he’s playing against, guys like Nilsson, Brodziak, who’s going to be the better player? It’s still early and experience tells you that you never jump to conclusions this early in camp, things develop as camp goes on and some guys fall by the wayside who are having success now. He’s going to have lots of opportunity, it’s up to him. I thought he started slow the other night, but came on at the end. One thing you can show is the intensity and the work ethic every shift, I thought he started off slow in that regard but came on at the end.”
I have comps! He’s a good comp for Jarret Stoll. See:
- Age 17:Stoll 13-13-26 (.317) (jr)Pouliot 11-15-26 (.317) (jr)
- Age 18:Stoll 16-26-42 (.512) (jr)Pouliot 14-18-32 (.390) (jr)
- Age 19:Stoll 17-18-35 (.427) (jr)Pouliot 15-22-37 (.451) (jr)
- Age 20:Stoll 11-18-29 (.354) (AHL)Pouliot 9-19-28 (.341) (AHL)
- Age 21:Stoll NHL 68gp, 10-11-21 (.309)Pouliot NHL 46gp, 4-7-11 (.239)
I have their 21-year old NHL seasons broken down, like this:
- Stoll ES points-per-60mins: 1.39Pouliot ES points-per-60mins: 1.17
- Stoll PP points-per-60mins: 2.95Pouliot PP points-per-60mins: 1.11
I can tell you about his injury history:
- Injured at the Top Prospects game in 2003 when Dion Phaneuf leveled him with a vicious (and imo clean) check.
- In the summer of 2003 he got hurt at the Canadian WJC camp in Calgary (hip) and that had a major impact on his 18-year old season. It also hurt his performance at the Oilers rookie camp just two months after being drafted.
- In November 2003 he suffered an abdominal injury and missed the Q/Russia prospects game and he played on 42 QMJHL games that season, finally having surgery in Montreal in summer 2004 to repair the abdominal tissues.
- He played 3 weeks with a broken wrist during the 2003-04 season (KP)
- Mono just before the Stanley run.
One of the great joys of being a fan is watching these kids grow from pre-draft teenagers to young men with strong careers ahead of them. There’s a chance Pouliot doesn’t get another chance, if Sanderson’s back is better tomorrow night and they send him out (or if the Oilers claim Toby Petersen on waivers) Pouliot might not see the ice during this callup. However, if he does hit the ice I sure as hell hope he does it with vigor, abandon and some piss and vinegar.
Hit someone, block a shot with your face, race to the bench on the line changes, be the last guy at the post-game spread. Take out the shit bucket if you have to buddy, it’s the NHL!