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Preview/Lines #65: Pouliot ‘Excited’ for Another Shot at NHL

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Last week, Derrick Pouliot earned an NHL contract. Tonight, he’s going to get back into an NHL game.

On Mar. 2, the San Jose Sharks inked the defenseman to an NHL contract for the remainder of the season.

Pro-rated for the team’s remaining games this season, Pouliot’s deal is worth a veteran’s minimum $750,000 in the NHL and $250,000 in the AHL, per Curtis Pashelka. This deal allows the 6-foot-0 defender—previously signed to just an AHL contract—to play for the San Jose Sharks tonight against the Colorado Avalanche.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity,” Pouliot said last Friday, after signing the contract. “When I signed here on an AHL deal, that was my objective, to hopefully earn an NHL contract.”

Pouliot, 29, has two goals and 21 points in just 28 games this season with the San Jose Barracuda. He is first among Barracuda defensemen in points and assists, despite playing in about half the team’s games this season.

The three-time AHL All-Star has logged 213 NHL games as part of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights, and Seattle Kraken. Similarly, the eighth-overall pick of the 2012 NHL Draft joined the Knights on an AHL deal last season before signing an NHL contract in March of 2022.

The San Jose Sharks lost defenseman Jacob MacDonald to injury in last night’s 3-2 OT victory over the Winnipeg Jets. In response, they recalled Pouliot.

With blueliner Radim Simek also out with a foot injury and a reoccurrence of his concussion problems from earlier this year, Pouliot has a wide runway in front of him.

“Hopefully, I can get an opportunity to play up there and and perform and show them what I’m able to do,” the left-hander said on Friday.

What’s David Quinn looking for from the veteran tonight?

“Just the things that he’s been doing with the Barracuda,” Quinn said. “He’s got poise with the puck. Makes good outlet passes. Done a better job defending, he’s got to make sure he’s got good gaps tonight and defends well.”

San Jose Sharks (19-33-12)

Colorado Avalanche (34-21-6)

Avalanche Skate: Rantanen Hoping to ‘Learn’ From Sunday Night’s Outburst, Injury Updates

Where to Watch

The San Jose Sharks will take on the Colorado Avalanche at 6 PM PST at Ball Arena. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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