Poulin injured, still hopeful for World Juniors


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Samuel Poulin. -- Vincent L. Rosseau / Sherbrooke Phoenix

Penguins forward prospect Samuel Poulin suffered an upper-body injury while playing with the Sherbrooke Phoenix in the QMJHL on Saturday in a 3-0 loss at home to the Quebec Remparts.

Poulin did not make the trip to Quebec for the second game of the home-and-home on Sunday. Phoenix head coach Stephane Julien said on Sunday that Poulin is not expected to be sidelined for more than a week.

That's good news, because Hockey Canada on Monday is announcing the list of players invited to the final training camp for the World Junior Championship team.

It's tough for 18-year-old players to make the roster, especially this year, when Canada is very deep at wing. Julien told Le Journal De Quebec that he thought Poulin's chances of making the team were 50-50.

"I think he deserves his place and, physically, he's a guy who could play a big role," Julien said of Poulin. "Since the beginning of the year, he has shown that he has at least a place in training camp."

Julien, who has been a coach with the Phoenix since 2012, offered some pretty high praise for Poulin's work off the ice.

"Sam is the most professional player I've seen since I was with the Phoenix," said Julien. "He already has the mentality of a pro. Physically, he knows how to prepare, he eats well and he pays attention to details. What he has to improve is his hockey side, because the professional side, he already has it."

Poulin currently ranks No. 3 on the Phoenix in scoring with 16 goals and 21 assists in 25 games. He trails only his two linemates -- Alex-Olivier Voyer and Felix Robert -- in scoring, by two points and one point respectively. Both Voyer and Robert are undrafted, unsigned 20-year-olds in their final year of junior hockey.

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