Draft day, 1996: The day Edmonton Oiler GM Glen Sather took a young defenseman from the Crushing Academy US high school. The name is Tom Poti and the game is offense. In three seasons at Crushing Academy he racked up 188 points in just 90 games, though he was playing against weak competition.
Ranked 15th overall by the Central Scouting Bureau, the Edmonton Oilers stole the native of Worcester, MA with their 4th choice, 59th overall. Poti took his hockey career to the next step as he played in Hockey East for Boston University, putting up good numbers for a rookie defenseman. Tom scored 4 goals and chipped in 17 assists for 21 points in 38 games, earning him a spot on the All-Rookie team and NCAA Championship AllTournament team. Poti has attended two World Junior Championships for the USA and has impressed with his big point shot and passing abilities.
Drafted at 6’2″ and 178 pounds, Poti has since filled-out his now 6’3″ frame to 210 pounds and is enjoying a break-out season in BU. Averaging over 1.4 points per game, Poti has 4 goals and 16 assists for 20 points in 14 games to date. #5 is currently #2 in BU Terriers team scoring behind center Chris Drury.
Scouts say Poti rises to the occasion when called upon. “The better the competition, the better he plays” said one scout. “He’s going to bring people out of their seats with his offensive skills and passing ability.” Poti is a good skater and not a liability on defense.
Began his scholastic career at St. Peter Marian before he transferred
to Crushing Academy. At. St. Peter, he played in 55 games and had
2546-73 on defense. Then, during his three years at Crushing,
he scored 41 goals and added 148 assists for 189 points in 93
games. His best season was in 1995-96, when, as a senior, he had
1459-73 in 28 games. The year before, he had his best goal
production with 17, but they came in 35 games. He also added 54
assists for 71 total points. His sophomore year, he had 1035-45
in 30 games. He set school records for most goals, assists, and
points in both a season and in a career by a defenseman….As
both a junior and senior, he was voted the Best Defenseman in
the New England Prep School Athletic Conference, and an NEPSAC
AllStar both years. In addition, both years, he was voted
the team’s MVP, while he captained the team his senior year to
a 351 record and the NEPSAC tournament title. His final
season he was named the Boston Globe Player
of the Year…Played Hockey Night In Boston from 199396.
In ’93, he was voted the Sophomore MVP. The next two years, he
was a Summer AllStar, an AllScholastic selection,
and the Division I Prep School Defenseman of the Year. Then, during
the 199596 season, he was named the Division I Player of
the Year. His other HNIB accolades included the Summer’s Best
Defenseman Award and the Best Pro Prospect Award….Was named
an ESPN Scholastic AllAmerican…Lastly, he played in the
Bay State Games three years. His teams won a Gold and Bronze Medal.
It is still unknown whether Poti will leave BU to persue his bright looking Pro career next season, but any way you slice it, Tom Poti looks to have a bright future ahead of him in the NHL.