2009-10: The first overall pick in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft (by Portland), Derrick Pouliot made a brief appearance with the Winterhawks, playing seven games, while spending the bulk of the season with the Moose Jaw Warriors Midget AAA team in Saskatchewan. Pouliot had 1 assist and was an even plus/minus in his limited stint with Portland. In 43 games with the Warriors he scored 14 goals with 29 assists and 38 penalty minutes. In four playoff games he had 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes.
2010-11: Pouliot skated in 66 games for Portland as a WHL rookie and played for Canada West in the 2011 U17 World Hockey Challenge. Part of a deep and talented defense corps for the Winterhawks, who had the league's third-best record and reached the playoff finals, Pouliot scored 5 goals with 25 assists and was plus-13 with 38 penalty minutes. In 21 playoff games, he scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was plus-3 with 16 penalty minutes. Pouliot played in five games for Canada West and had 3 assists with 2 penalty minutes at the WHC.
2011-12: In Pouloit's second season, the Winterhawks slipped to second in the U.S. Division, finishing two points behind Tri-City, but again reached the WHL Finals. In 72 regular season games, Pouliot scored 11 goals with 48 assists and was plus-15 with 79 penalty minutes. In 16 playoff games entering the finals, he scored 3 goals with 10 assists and was plus-5 with 16 penalty minutes. Pouliot was ranked 12th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.
Pouliot is mobile offensive defenseman with good passing skills, vision, and an accurate shot. He also possesses vision and on-ice awareness that is through the roof. Not a particularly imposing physical presence on the blue line, Pouliot needs to add considerable strength to his relatively lean frame. He also needs to improve his explosiveness, particularly in his first step, and learn when to make the simpler plays.
The young blueliner will return to the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL for the 2012-13 season. Long-term his projection is still very much up in the air at this point but he does possess the potential to be an offensively dynamic top-four defenseman in the NHL.