Benoît Robert Pouliot (born September 29, 1986) is a Canadian professional ice hockey left winger who is currently an unrestricted free agent. He most recently played for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has previously played in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and the Edmonton Oilers. Pouliot was originally drafted by the Wild fourth overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
September 29, 1986|
Alfred, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||193 lb (88 kg; 13 st 11 lb)|
Tampa Bay Lightning
New York Rangers
4th overall, 2005|
Pouliot grew up in St. Isidore, Ontario, playing for his hometown St. Isidore Eagles, where he was coached by his father Sylvain. Pouliot was later promoted to the AA Eastern Ontario Cobras of the ODMHA where he played up until the Bantam age level. He also saw time in Jr.B. with Les Castors de Clarence Creek.
Pouliot was later drafted in the 11th round, 207th overall, by the Ontario Hockey League (OHL)'s Sudbury Wolves in the 2002 OHL Priority Selection after playing for the Cobras. The following season, he was reassigned to the Hawkesbury Hawks Jr.A. club of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), a team his father had previously played for.
In his first year, Pouliot won the Emms Family Award as the OHL's top rookie for 2004–05. On July 30, 2005, after his first full season of major junior hockey, he was drafted fourth overall by the Minnesota Wild at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Later that year, he was also named to the Canadian junior team that ultimately won the gold medal at the 2006 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. He finished the 2005–06 season with 65 points in 51 games, including 35 goals.
Pouliot signed a tryout contract with Minnesota's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Houston Aeros, on April 28, 2006, playing there for two games in the team's Semifinal Calder Cup playoff series against the Milwaukee Admirals. He was then signed professionally to the Wild on May 1. He made his NHL debut later in the year, on November 22, against the Montreal Canadiens, after which he would return to the Aeros until March 15, 2008.
Pouliot later was placed on the 2008–09 roster at the beginning season. After scoring just 11 points in 37 games, Pouliot was later sent down to the AHL's Aeros. On November 23, he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Guillaume Latendresse.
On July 1, 2011, Pouliot signed as a free agent with the Boston Bruins on a one-year, $1.1 million contract. On June 23, 2012, as a pending unrestricted free agent, Pouliot's rights were traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forward Michel Ouellet and a fifth- round draft pick (131st overall) used later that day at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft to select Seth Griffith. Two days later, Pouliot signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract extension with the Lightning.
After a successful season with the Rangers and looking for term after playing on three successive one-year deals, Pouliot agreed to a five-year, $20 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers on July 1, 2014. During his first season with the Oilers in the 2014–15 season, Pouliot transitioned easily to the rebuilding club, increasing his scoring presence with 34 points in just 58 games. He was sideline for 24 games however through to injury.
Despite the Oilers returning to the playoffs after a 10-year hiatus in the 2016–17 season, Pouliot endured a lackluster year with 14 points in 67 games regular season games, and no points in 13 playoff games. On June 29, 2017, Pouliot was placed on waivers in order for the Oilers to buy-out the remaining two-years of his contract.
On July 1, 2017, Pouliot was promptly signed by the Buffalo Sabres as a free agent, to a one-year $1.15 million deal.
Pouliot's younger brother, Hugo, played for the same Hawkesbury Hawks Jr.A. team that Benoît and their father both played with.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|2002–03||Clarence Creek Beavers||EOJHL||38||13||17||30||86||5||0||2||2||8|
|2012–13||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||34||8||12||20||15||—||—||—||—||—|
|2013–14||New York Rangers||NHL||80||15||21||36||56||25||5||5||10||26|
|World Junior Championships|
Awards and honoursEdit
|First All-Rookie Team||2005|
|Second All-Star Team||2005|
|Emms Family Award||2005|
|CHL Rookie of the Year||2005|
- Joyce, Gare (June 6, 2005). "[Benoit Pouliot's dad never got a chance to see his son in the NHL] Change Of Heart". ESPN. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
- Macdonald, James. "WILD GAMEDAY - March 15, 2008". NHL.com. NHL. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- "NHL Event Summary". NHL.com. 2008-03-22. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- "Canadiens trade Latendresse for Pouliot". The Sports Network. 2008-11-23. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
- "Bruins sign free agent Benoit Pouliot". Boston.com. 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
- "Oilers sign Pouliot, Fayne". ESPN. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
- "Benoit Pouliot wears out his welcome with Oilers, headed for buy-out". Edmonton Journal. 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
- "Sabres sign Left wing Benoit Pouliot". Buffalo News. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
- "The son also rises". Slam Sports. 2005-05-25. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
|Awards and achievements|
| OHL Rookie of the Year
| CHL Rookie of the Year
A. J. Thelen
| Minnesota Wild first round draft pick