Penguins send ’12 first-rounder Pouliot to minors

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The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that Derrick Pouliot has been sent to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Pouliot was taken with the eighth overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He entered the preseason with a legitimate shot of making the Penguins’ opening game roster.

“Yeah, I do (think Pouliot’s ready). For sure,” coach Mike Johnston said in September. “Not only his play in Portland, but the thing that convinced me the most was last year at the World Juniors.

“I really thought Derrick was the best defenseman in the tournament. If you can play at that level on the world stage, yeah, you’re ready.”

Pouliot underwent shoulder surgery in May though and he ultimately wasn’t ready for the start of the season. This will give him a chance to shake off the rust and hone his game in the minors before potentially being summoned by Pittsburgh down the road.