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Can Derrick Pouliot Follow Jaycob Megna’s Path to Sharks?



Credit: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The San Jose Sharks organization is bringing in a couple veterans with NHL experience: Luke Johnson and Derrick Pouliot.

Johnson, 27, is a forward who has played 32 games with the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild. He was originally a 2013 Blackhawks’ fifth-round pick.

“Luke is a very competitive forward with lots of professional experience,” San Jose Barracuda GM Joe Will said in a team press release.

Johnson was an alternate captain for the 2018-19 Rockford IceHogs and has scored 18 goals in a season twice in his AHL career. The 5-foot-11 forward has amassed 266 AHL appearances with the IceHogs, Iowa Wild, and Manitoba Moose.

Pouliot, 28, is a defenseman who has played 213 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights, and Seattle Kraken. He was originally a 2012 Pittsburgh first-round pick.

“Derrick brings a lot of experience to our young defensive corps,” Will said.

Pouliot is a three-time AHL All-Star and has also won a Stanley Cup. In 2016, the 6-foot-0 blueliner suited up for two Penguins’ second-round tilts against the Washington Capitals.

In Jaycob Megna, Pouliot may have a model for getting to the San Jose Sharks.

In the 2020 off-season, the Barracuda signed Megna, then 27, to a contract. He impressed as the leader of the 2020-21 Cuda defense, and the Sharks inked him to a two-way NHL contract in the following off-season.

What Will Gabriel & Megna Add to Sharks Organization?

Megna built on that this past year, earning himself a two-year, one-way NHL contract with the San Jose Sharks in May.

“Good puck-mover with some offense at the AHL level. Just hasn’t been able to translate to the NHL,” an NHL scout told San Jose Hockey Now about Pouliot. “Average defensively.”

Another scout noted: “He’s a decent player. A little slow. Good brain, good offense. But needs to improve his conditioning.”

In Pouliot and Johnson, the Barracuda continue their transformation of last year’s last-place squad, in preparation for their move into brand-new Tech CU Arena this fall. In July, the San Jose Sharks signed veteran AHL forwards Andrew Agozzino and C.J. Suess, and earlier this month, the Barracuda added forward Patrick McGrath.

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