Pouliot played for Weyburn in the South Saskatchewan Minor Hockey League last season. In 26 regular season games Pouliot registered 25 goals and a team-high 38 assists for 63 total points, second on his team and sixth in the league. In five playoff games, Pouliot added a team-high five goals and an assist for a team-high six points.
“In all of our meetings Derrick was the consensus number one pick, it’s why we stayed with our pick. We’re excited to get a defenseman who can handle the puck, move the puck and skate like he does,” said Portland Winter Hawks General Manager and Head Coach Mike Johnston. “Derrick will be a great addition to the young core of defensemen we’re assembling with the Portland Winter Hawks.”
Pouliot was named the tournament MVP in the Bantam AA Challenge Tournament in Regina, Saskatchewan in November. In addition, at the Western Canadian Bantam Championships in Weyburn, Pouliot was named to the tournament all-star team, and was the recipient of the tournament’s top defenseman award.
This marks the second time the Winter Hawks have held the first overall pick in the WHL’s Bantam Draft since 1990. The previous occasion, in 2000, the team selected another defenseman, Braydon Coburn, now playing for the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL.
After selecting Pouliot first overall, the Winter Hawks used their second round pick on right winger Taylor Leier. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native registered 69 goals and 68 assists for 137 points in 62 games for the Saskatoon Outlaws.
In the third round, the Winter Hawks took defenseman Reece Wilcox from Surrey, British Columbia, and followed that pick with A.J. Michaelson in the fourth round. Michaelson, a center from Apple Valley, Minnesota, tallied nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 21 games last season.
After not having a pick in the fifth round, Portland took left winger Brendan Leipsic in the sixth round. Leipsic tied for the league lead in the Winnipeg Midget Hockey Association AAA Bantam League with 36 points in 29 games.
The Winter Hawks made two picks in the seventh round: Richmond, B.C. center Brayden Low, who tallied 59 points in 71 games, and defenseman Troy Stecher, also from Richmond, who tallied 68 points in 71 games. Stecher was acquired from Spokane for a sixth round pick in the 2010 Bantam Draft.
In the eighth round Portland selected defenseman Josh Hanson from Anchorage, Alaska, who tallied 25 points in 36 games. The team’s ninth round pick was Adam Smith, a center from Nanaimo, British Columbia, and in the 10th round Portland picked Adam De Champlain, a center from Sherwood Park, Alberta. Their final selection of the day was 11th round pick Jake Montgomery, a left winger from Oakdale, Minnesota.
Portland Winter Hawks 2009 WHL Bantam Draft Picks:
1st Round: Derrick Pouliot; Defenseman; Weyburn, Saskatchewan; Weyburn Mission Wings
2nd Round: Taylor Leier; Right Wing; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Saskatoon Outlaws
3rd Round: Reece Wilcox; Defenseman; Surrey, British Columbia; Surrey Thunder
4th Round: A.J. Michaelson; Center; Apple Valley, Minnesota; Apple Valley High School
5th Round: Pick previously traded
6th Round: Brendan Leipsic; Left Wing; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Winnipeg Monarchs
7th Round: Brayden Low: Defenseman; Richmond, British Columbia; Richmond Blues
7th Round: Troy Stecher; Defenseman; Richmond, British Columbia (Acquired for a 6th Round pick in 2010); Richmond Blues
8th Round; Josh Hanson; Defenseman; Anchorage, Alaska; Alaska All-Stars
9th Round: Adam Smith; Center; Nanaimo, British Columbia; Nanaimo Clippers
10th Round: Adam De Champlain; Center; Sherwood Park, Alberta; Sherwood Park Flyers
11th Round: Jake Montgomery; Left Wing; Oakdale, Minnesota; Shattuck-St. Mary’s