Marc Pouliot: Mixed Emotions

The combination of Oilers fandom and the Al Gore has created a new curiousity: the perennial prospect. I think it started with Jani Rita and then rolled through Pouliot and Schremp; right now the new candidates are Linus Omark and Jeff Petry. Any npn-Oiler fan watching this must wonder what all the fuss is about: if you’ve drafted a prospect in 2003 and he’s still climbing the ladder at the end of the decade he’s more “suspect” than prospect.

I still think he’s a player.

  • Boxcars: 35gp, 7-7-14
  • Shots: 60
  • Plus Minus: -4
  • Corsi (Rel): -2.3 (9th among F’s, DNQ)
  • GF/GA ON: 15-19
  • 5×5/60: 2.06 (3rd among F’s, DNQ)
  • 5×4/60: nil 
  • Quality of Competition: (5th toughest among F’s, DNQ)
  • Quality of Teammates: (13th best among F’s, DNQ)
  • FO %: 44.3% in 235 FO’s
  • Offensive Zone Start FO %: 51.0% (2nd easiest among F’s, DNQ)
  • Cap Hit: $825,000 (RFA this summer)
  1. What do these numbers tell us? Pouliot had a good half-season. He played in the worst possible situation (actually, Pisani’s Qual of T/C was the most difficult on the club) but his plus minus and Corsi were pretty good all things considered. His excellent zone start needs to be factored in, but I think he showed enough to get an NHL job this fall. His EV scoring has improved if it is real.
  2. How could these numbers be better? The boxcars would improve if he could stay healthy. His 5×5/60 number was 3rd best on the club and he looked better than he ever has in the offensive zone during the season’s final stretch. More of the same would be nice.
  3. Can he be a tough minutes player? He’s building a resume, has been for some time but it is all fits and starts because of the injuries. His scouting report always suggested a more complete skill set and he’s either had a nice run of luck during his NHL time or he’s an actual player (when healthy). Pouliot’s best run happened a couple of years ago when the Oilers were a lost cause and this spring he was close to being as good (and offensively he was better).
  4. Will the Oilers keep him? I have no idea. At this point there’s no right answer, I’m a fan so here’s hoping the guy gets one more chance from the team and grabs it. I don’t think you can blame the organization if they choose to find a more established, less injury prone option though. Pouliot isn’t a guy you can count on. He was fairly healthy in 08-09, if he could play 70 NHL games in a season the guy might find a home. Pouliot won the Brodziak job the day EDM made the deal with the Wild, I expect it is still available if he can pass the physical.
  5. Where will they use Pouliot? If they sign him, Pouliot should be able to help them on the 3-4 lines and the PK. If he was better in the FO circle he’d be a candidate to become the next Reasoner, a player the Oilers sorely miss (and have not replaced).
  6. Does anyone remember the “Carbonneau” conversation he had with MacT? Just a few of us. He’s as healthy as Doug Risebrough, so the idea never gets momentum.
  7. How important is he to the organization? Nothing. The Oilers are free of Pouliot and the 2003 draft, the Prendergast firing establishes it. Edmonton could walk away from him, deal him or send him down during TC and lose him on waivers (or not) and no one is going to blink. I don’t think he’s a suspect, but he’s not a prospect anymore. I bet someone will take a chance on him should the Oilers go another direction.
By The Numbers
  • 07-08 5×5 per 60m: 1.55
  • 08-09 5×5 per 60m: 1.67
  • 09-10 5×5 per 60m: 2.06
By The Numbers
  • 07-08 5×4 per 60m: 6.43
  • 08-09 5×4 per 60m: 1.90
  • 09-10 5×4 per 60m: 0.00

Predictions Past 2009-10: 70gp, 10-15-25 (.357)
Performance in  2009-10: 35gp, 7-7-14 (.400)

Projected Role in 2010-11: If healthy, he’s an NHL player

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