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We Now Know Who The Penguins Most NHL Ready Prospect Is


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James Connelly
August 13, 2023  (11:07)
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The Penguins' prospect pool may be depleted but we know who will likely be the next man up.

The Penguins Prospect Pool

The Pittsburgh Penguins are entering a period of transition. While they are no longer the perennial cup contenders they once were, they are still competitive. After years of contending, their prospect pool certainly has taken a hit with it being on the weaker side.
They have players like Brayden Yager and Owen Pickering who were both 1st round picks to recently enter their system but for the most part, the system lacks some top-end depth. Many prospect pool rankings have the Penguins system in the late teens to early 20s which is not the ideal spot for a team that just missed the playoffs.
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However, there is one bright spot and one player who experts have identified as the player who is the most NHL-ready prospect in the Penguins' system.

Expert Projection

Recently in an article for The Hockey News, Tony Ferrari went over the Penguins' prospect pool and identified the "next man up."
Here's who he said he believed was next up in Pittsburgh:
"The Pens don't have players who are necessarily ready to step in and play big roles for the big club as they look to compete once again in the upcoming season, but Poulin could find his way into the lineup as a bottom-six contributor and depth scorer." - Tony Ferrari

Samuel Poulin is quite an intriguing case. After being drafted 21st overall in 2019, Poulin has only played three NHL games registering one assist. However, he stepped away from hockey last year due to mental health reasons.
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In recent years, mental health has become much more of a priority with the top players excelling after getting their mental health in check. Some argue it is more important than physical capability.
At 6'2" and 214 lbs, Poulin has all of the physical capability to play in the NHL and if he is able to come back in the proper headspace, the Penguins could have a hidden gem who could even slot into the top six at times.
As seen on The Hockey News - 2023-24 NHL PROSPECT POOL OVERVIEW: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
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We Now Know Who The Penguins Most NHL Ready Prospect Is

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